LAWRENCE, Kan. — The Lawrence Police Department have now identified the 2-year-old who died Sunday evening after being left in a parked vehicle.
Officers went to the 3300 block of Iowa Street just after 5:30 p.m. after someone called 911.
When emergency crews arrived, they determined the child, identified as Devonte Lashawn Tuner, had died. The police department said investigators have contacted family and are working to figure out what happened.
Police said the child was not with his parents at the time of the incident but was under the care of family members. No arrests have been made at this time in what they’re calling a death investigation.
Lawrence police won’t say yet how long Davonte was in the car or how he ended up alone.
The police department hasn’t explicitly said that this is a hot car case, but the high temperature in Lawrence on Sunday was 88 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.
“This serves as a reminder to please take extra care when exiting your vehicles, especially this time of year when temperatures are high,” Lawrence Police Chief Gregory Burns Jr. said.
Neighbor Shane Coffey only knew Davonte’s family in passing, but the death of the two-year-old still weighs on him.
“Oh it’s tragic,” Coffey said. “My wife, she cried when she found out because we’ve been trying to have a kid and everything, and just to see one taken away that fast, that easy, it’s horrifying.”
The American Academy of Pediatrics said that temperatures inside a car can rise as many as 20 degrees in 10 minutes. A child’s organs start to shut down at 104 degrees, and they can die at 107 degrees.
According to KidsinCars.org, 53 kids died last year in hot car deaths. So far this year, the number is around 32 deaths. Even one is too many for neighbors to handle.
“When I walk by a car now, I look inside it because you just never know if you could have been the one to stop it,” Coffey said. “Just a two second thing could have stopped it. You never know.”
Police are continuing to investigate.