Utah baby who died had body temp of 109, police believe he was left in a hot car

Local News

SANTAQUIN, Utah (ABC4 News) – Police in Santaquin are investigating after a 6-month old boy died and was brought into the hospital with a body temperature of over 109 degrees.

According to a search warrant, the boy was already deceased when his mother brought him into the ER just before 6 p.m. on August 13. Doctors said the infant had hot red flushed skin that was shedding and a core temperature that was obtained by a rectal thermometer of 109.8 degrees Fahrenheit.

The ER doctor said the only way a body temperature could get that high is from environmental conditions. The doctors said postmortem had already set in, which is usually 2-6 hours after death, the warrant states.

Prior to the emergency room call, police and medical personnel had not received any emergency calls regarding this incident and shortly after, the mother, was questioned about the events that led up to the infant’s death.

Police stated in the warrant the mother’s body language was unusual for a mother who just lost their infant child. She was calm and showing very little emotion, documents state.

Police observed she was crying off and on but struggling to produce tears and when asked a question she could stop crying instantly. Police said the woman appeared to be overly concerned about self-preservation and of officers accusing her of something rather than being concerned about losing her child, the warrant further states.

Police mentioned in the warrant that when asked to provide a timeline for her day, the mother gave inconsistent statements but said she had to run several errands throughout the day.

Police said the woman told them the baby was in his car seat inside the vehicle right next to her the entire time and she never noticed anything unusual until she arrived in Santaquin.

At that time, she indicated the baby was lethargic, had a blank stare, and was really hot to the touch; therefore, she freaked out and sped to the hospital to get help and told police it took her 35 minutes to get to Mountain View Hospital on SR 198, which usually takes about 10 minutes to drive.

The mother also told police a neighbor played with her child around three but the neighbor denied ever seeing the baby at that time.

Police said the mother’s timeline was off and her story had large gaps of time that were unaccounted for and her story changed a couple of times regarding the several hours leading up to her arrival at the hospital.

The woman’s neighbor convinced her to talk with police regarding events that she left out of her story.

During a second interview with police, the woman provided a different story regarding her whereabouts leading up to the arrival at the hospital saying she went driving all around the south end of Utah County looking for her lost dog with her child in the car and lost track of time. She told police her child must have gotten too hot while in the car, documents state. 

Police are still investigating and have requested a search warrant for the mother’s phone to help build a timeline of where she was during the day.

ABC4 has left off the name of the child and the mother as she has not yet been charged with any crime.

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