(RepublicanNews.org) – According to brand-new data, just under 40 children die per year in the United States as a result of vehicular heat stroke. On September 13th, authorities in Newport News Virginia announced that yet another child has likely been added to that tally. The 11-month-old victim died alongside a dog after the two were reportedly left in a vehicle for well over six hours.
Area police initially became aware of the incident on September 12th after they responded to a call from a local hospital in which administrators claimed an elderly man had arrived at their facility and announced that a deceased baby was in the trunk of his car. According to authorities, medical staff approached the man’s car and discovered a trash bag in its trunk.
The York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Department said staff opened the bag and discovered the body of an 11-month-old baby, who was identified later as Myrical Wicker. A 40-year-old local by the name of Kristen Graham is reported to have sometimes cared for the deceased child, and she has since been charged with both animal cruelty and child neglect. The latter charge is considered a felony.
According to the county Sheriff, Graham had been responsible for the child during the 48 hours that had preceded the baby’s death despite not being the child’s mother. Authorities have chosen to withhold the 17-year-old mother’s name.
Police have indicated that the elderly man who first arrived at the hospital to report the death had been under the care of Graham at the start of the tragedy. The 40-year-old was simultaneously babysitting young Myrical. Graham decided to take the dog and child with her on a cigarette run, but failed to take either vulnerable passenger out of the vehicle after arriving back at the house.
Later that morning, the man under her care discovered the dead bodies. He wrapped the baby’s body in a trash bag and drove to his local hospital.
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