An Alabama father has ben charged with reckless murder after allegedly leaving his toddler son in the back seat of his vehicle for several hours.
Atmore Police Chief Chuck Brooks said that Shawn Rounsavall, 51, was supposed to drop the 2-year-old off at daycare Monday morning but forgot the boy was in the vehicle, WALA reports. Rounsavall remembered to pick the child up from daycare, only to find the boy in the back seat dead.
“Because of the reckless … disregard for the child … he was arrested for that particular incident,” said Brooks.
“This is a terrible, terrible tragedy. This community is shocked,” he said.
Brooks said Rounsavall worked at his downtown Ardmore restaurant all day on Monday then went to the First Baptist Church daycare at about 4:30 p.m. to pick up his son. After he was told the boy hadn’t been dropped off, he and daycare staff found him.
Brooks said investigators are awaiting an official cause of death from the medical examiner. Rounsavall appeared at a bond hearing on Tuesday and was given a $500,000 bond.
Kids and Cars Safety counts the toddler’s death as the first such death in the country in 2023. Thirty-three children died last year after being left inside a car, the highest since the record-breaking years of 2019 (53) and 2018 (54).
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[Featured image: Shawn Rounsavall/Atmore Police Department]