11-Month-Old Dies After Being Forgotten In Hot Car
November 22, 2016
Mandie Hendershot, a night-shift ER nurse, left her 11-month-old son in the care of her parents while she got some much-needed sleep, only to awake to a mother's worst nightmare.
Grandparents Meta and Kyle Hendershot had taken the infant, Jaxon Taylor, to church on Sept. 5, along with another daughter and grandchild, reports KFOR-4. When they returned home that afternoon, Jaxon was left in their SUV, where he was found dead two hours later.
The midday temperature was in the 90s that day in Chickamauga, Ga., and Walker County Sheriff Steve Wilson told CNN that the “temperature in a closed vehicle can reach as high as 131 to 172 degrees in as little as 15 minutes.”
Though the investigation is not officially closed, no criminal charges have been filed. "There was a lack of communication within the three adults. They assumed that one of the others had brought in the child and laid him down. They didn't communicate who would get the child," Sheriff Wilson told CNN.
The police incident report as detailed by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution gives an overview of what unfolded:
After returning home, Meta Hendershot opened the car door next to Jaxon's seat, then went into the house to unload other items first. On her way into the home, she heard the car door slam shut.
Kyle Hendershot had unloaded items from the back of the car, before leaving to take the family dog for a walk. Upon returning, he joined his wife in bed.
The other adult and infant left shortly after arriving at the home.
It was only when the mother woke at 5 p.m. that everyone realized what must have happened. The experienced ER nurse rushed to her car and attempted CPR, but to no avail. Neither could paramedics revive the child, reports WTVC-2, an affiliate of ABC. Jaxon was pronounced dead at the hospital.
An autopsy confirmed that Jaxon died of hyperthermia, though additional toxicology tests are still pending, according to WRCB-3. Meanwhile, the family struggles to cope with the loss.
The widely publicized news has made it impossible for the Hendershots to grieve privately, and many who have seen the news are pointing fingers at the grandparents. In response, Mandie Hendershot posted the following public post to her Facebook page on Sept. 7, expressing her grief but also that Jaxon "had the best two grandparents any baby ever had in his short time here."
As the days wear on, Hendershot's Facebook page continues to be filled with photographs and videos remembering her son.