Great grandmother charged in toddler's hot car death

POINT PLEASANT, W.V. -- A 67-year-old West Virginia woman has been charged in the death of her great-grandson.

Police told WSAZ the 19-month-old died after he was left in a hot car for seven hours.

"By the time we found him. He had been dead for a while," said Cpl. A.B. Ward, West Virginia State Police.

Investigators say the victim's great grandmother, Carolyn Davis, dropped off the boy's mother at work the morning of April 5. She then drove back to her house and brought the victim's 4-year-old sister inside but left the baby, Abel Stevens, strapped in his car seat.

"You can imagine a 19-month-old kid stuck in a car, screaming and crying," Cpl. Ward said.

Police say temperatures outside that day reach 81 degrees. They say the car was not parked anywhere near the shade, so inside it would've been anywhere from 120 to 140 degrees.

Investigators say Davis got back in the car that afternoon and drove back into town and picked the boy's mother up from work. They say at that point, the child was already deceased.

"Mom gets in the car and says what's wrong with my son and she goes to try and get him out and he's stiff," said Lt. Shawn Ross, Point Pleasant Police.

Police say the 67-year-old watched the kids five days a week and she wasn't under the influence.

"I'm sure it was an accident. We're assuming he may have been asleep that morning when she took him home and she just left him in the car to sleep and forgot about him in there all day," Cpl. Ward said.

"It doesn't take very long for a hot car to kill a kid," Lt. Ross said.

Heading into the summer months, police say this is a tragic reminder why children should never be left alone in a hot vehicle.

Police believe Davis knew the child was dead when she left to pick up the mother, but didn't want to be the person who reported it. They say conditions inside both the car and home were filthy.

Davis was arrested May 5 in Ohio. She is currently being held in the Gallia County Jail where she is awaiting her extradition hearing.