ATLANTA, Ga. (CNN) — It’s happened again, this time El Paso, Texas. A two year-old left in the car parked at the family’s home. Reports say the child left to suffocate overnight. An autopsy now being conducted on the little girl before possible criminal charges are filed. And it keeps happening over and over.
A quick internet search says it all. At least 20 incidents involving 26 children, two died, raising the number of children killed from heatstroke this year to sixteen. All of these cases in the few short weeks since most of the nation was laser-focused on the sickening case of 22-month old Cooper Harris in Georgia.
The child left by his father Justin Ross Harris who spent the day working at Home Depot, having lunch with friends and sexting women, all while his son spent 7 hours strapped into his car seat. Cooper was found with scratches to his face, abrasions on the back of his head; the child apparently struggling to survive the heat.
Joseph Scott Morgan is a forensic scholar and former investigator. He says, “You still have a child that’s strapped into a car that’s exposed to extreme heat that I can assure you that no adult would be able to endure it. I certainly couldn’t endure it.”
And then there’s the case of 29-year-old Teresa Channelder out of Washington DC. Channelder is charged with abandoning her severely disabled mother in a car on a day when temperatures rose to 95 degrees. Police found and rescued her after she was trapped in the vehicle for sixteen hours. Police say she suffered from severe dehydration and was sitting in her own urine and feces.
As unimaginable as leaving a child or anyone in a car seems experts say there will be more cases as the temperatures across the country continue to rise.
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