Child’s death investigated

Published 3:28 am Saturday, May 19, 2018

4-year-old’s death believed to be heat-related

Local law enforcement authorities confirmed late Friday they are investigating the heat-related death of a 4-year-old girl from the Heath area.

Sheriff Dennis Meeks said his office was notified of the girl’s death around 3:30 p.m. Friday. It is believed she died in a vehicle.

Neither the identity of the child, nor the identity of her parents, had been released when The Star-News went to press last night. Meeks said the child’s body was sent to the Department of Forensic Sciences, and his department is awaiting the results of an autopsy.

Jan Null, Certified Consulting Meteorologist, an adjunct professor and research meteorologist at San Jose State University , said if the death is confirmed inside a vehicle it would be the seventh pediatric vehicular heatstroke death nationwide in 2018 and the first in Alabama.

Last year there were a total of 42 pediatric vehicular heatstroke deaths in the United States and four of those were in Alabama. Since 1998, 749 infants and children have died in hot vehicles in the United States with 21 of those in Alabama .

Null said with South Alabama’s outside temperatures in the mid-90s yesterday, the inside air temperature of a vehicle would have been on the order of 140 degrees.