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Man leaves 5-year-old stepson inside vehicle parked in the desert heat as tot screams for him to return: Cops

Authorities in Arizona say a 26-year-old man was arrested after his 5-year-old stepson was reportedly left alone inside a hot car.

Witnesses told police that the young child screamed for the suspect, identified as Isaac Smith, not to leave him in the parked vehicle.

According to KNXV, the incident reportedly occurred at about 4 p.m. on Thursday at a location near a pediatrician’s office near the intersection of Thomas Road and 7th Avenue.

How do you protect your children from predators? Join Nancy Grace and a team of world class experts for the online course ‘Justice Nation: Crime Stops Here’.

Temperatures in the area reached 86 degrees that day and would have soared inside of a car.

The stepfather was arrested and reportedly admitted to investigators that he left the child in the car. Police reports indicate he told officers that he smoked methamphetamine that day and “became confused” before abandoning the child.

As officials have previously warned, even seemingly moderate temperatures outside can lead to serious injury or death in children left inside vehicles.

Earlier this week, a Minnesota father was reportedly arrested when his 4-year-old son died after spending six hours in a parked car while the 26-year-old man worked a shift.

Temperatures in the area that day only reached a high of about 70 degrees.

Officials in Arizona reacted to the most recent incident by reiterating the importance of reported suspected child abuse to the proper authorities.

How do you protect your children from predators? Join Nancy Grace and a team of world class experts for the online course ‘Justice Nation: Crime Stops Here’.

[Featured image: Isaac Smith, Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office]