Foster father charged with first-degree murder in baby’s hot car death

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WICHITA, Kan. -- Prosecutors announced charges against a man accused of leaving his 10-month-old foster child in a hot car last Thursday night, resulting in the girl's death. Seth Jackson, 29, has been charged with first-degree murder in the commission of a felony, or second-degree murder in the alternative. The underlying felony is an aggravated endangering a child charge.

Jackson told police he picked the girl up from a babysitter at about 4 p.m. on Thursday and drove home. He went into the home with a five-year-old child, but allegedly left the 10-month-old strapped in a car seat with the windows up. Temperatures reached the low 90s that day in Wichita.

Lieutenant Todd Ojile with the Wichita Police Department said Jackson didn't remember the child was in the car until something on TV jogged the memories of he and his partner. By that time the child had been in the car for about two hours.

He and his partner were in the process of adopting the girl, and Jackson's mother said her death has left her son very distraught, to the point where he was on suicide watch.

"His sentence is now a lifetime. Whether it's on paper or not, it's in his mind and it's going to be in his heart the rest of his life," she said.

Jackson and his partner's two adopted children and four other foster children are now in the home's of family members as the investigation continues.

The Kansas Department for Children and Families Secretary Phyllis Gilmore released a statement regarding the charges:

"We remain deeply saddened that this child suffered such a horrific death. We support the charges filed in this case, and we will aid in any way possible the prosecution of the defendant."

Jackson's bond has been set at $250,000 and he has a preliminary court date set for August 13.