Baby Left Alone in Hot Van Dies - 8 News NOW

Jon Summers, Reporter

Baby Left Alone in Hot Van Dies

Posted: Updated:

(June 6) -- A Las Vegas family is in mourning after their baby died in a hot car. There a new questions about this case including whether the father will or should face charges?

Seven-month-old Hayden Fish sat strapped in his car seat in the parking lot of Centennial High School while his father was inside grading papers. Now that the child has died, Metro says the father should pay.

"When you leave someone in a car on a hot day or any day, we feel that's unacceptable," said Jeff Carlson, Metro.

Metro's Child Abuse and Neglect Unit is forwarding it's case against Centennial teacher David Fish to the Clark County District Attorney's Office. Fish is the father of the 7-month-old child who died after being left in a hot van for 8 hours while he worked at school.

Investigators say Fish normally gives other children rides to school in addition to his own. But since school is out, Fish's routine changed Thursday, causing him to forget his child was in the back of the van.

The father left for work around 5 a.m. He was supposed to drop the baby off at the babysitter on his way to work. Police say the father was exhausted from working long hours and stopped to get coffee and then went to work forgetting to drop the child off. Police say when he altered his routine, he forgot his son was in the back seat.

At around 4 p.m., the father left work to pick up his other child at Klassy Kids Academy Daycare. That's when he realized he'd left his baby in the back seat all day. Many parents at the daycare center feel terrible for the family. "My heart was like how do they do that, it's very sad," said Alyssa Richardson, a parent at the center.

"The public feels that a child is dead and someone's gonna pay," said District Attorney David Roger. But, Roger adds it isn't always easy to prosecute. "Our legislature has set forth the law in abuse and neglect cases, and there has to be some intentional conduct, not just accidental.

The law says "a person who is responsible for the safety or welfare of a child and who permits or allows that child to suffer unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering as a result of abuse of neglector, to be placed in a situation where the child may suffer physical pain or mental suffering as the result of abuse or neglect" can be held criminally responsible.

Roger says while residents may want Fish prosecuted, it's not entirely up to him. "We exercise discretion in that we follow the law. It doesn't do anybody any good to take a case into court and have a judge throw it out."

The DA's office will review Metro's findings once they get it next week. According to Metro if fish is prosecuted, he could be sentenced 2 to 20 years in prison. As for the other two cases, since there was no death or substantial bodily harm, Lt. Carlson says those parents could only be charged with misdemeanors.

This was the third incident in the past week involving a child being left in along in a vehicle. In the two other cases, the children were unharmed.

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