The father of a Texas 5-year-old who died after being left in a hot car for two to three hours on Monday doesn’t believe the mother should be criminally charged in the incident.
Officers with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call from the 13700 block of Blair Hill Lane in Houston, Texas, and found the 5-year-old unresponsive.
According to Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, the mother and her 8-year-old daughter walked inside the home and the mother only realized hours later that the 5-year-old wasn’t inside.
“Mom noticed the five-year-old was nowhere to be found and began calling to him with no answer. She frantically ran outside and discovered the 5-year-old still buckled in his car seat,” Gonzalez said.
On Monday, temperatures in the Houston area reached a high of 102 degrees, according to the National Weather Service, which broke a record. Fox 26 reports that when temperatures are 100 degrees, the temperature inside a closed car can reach 143 degrees within 60 minutes.
Gary Block, the attorney for Steve Means, the father, told the Daily Mail that Steve doesn’t want to see Amanda Means, the mother, criminally charged.
“Steve is a stand-up guy. He is in tears, he’s beside himself, but the last thing he wants is for Amanda to be criminally punished. She is going through enough already,” Block said. “He knows that she is their mother, no matter what happened, and that there was nothing done on purpose. All he wants to do right now is make sure his daughter is OK and that everyone can begin to heal.”
Gonzalez also said that the child has the ability to unbuckle himself, but said the mother was using a loaner car.
“The child apparently had that ability but this is a loaner and we don’t know if that was a factor or maybe the child was asleep and got disorientated with the temperature as hot as it is. We don’t know. That will be part of the investigation,” Gonzalez said.
Steve Means filed for divorce in January, but Block said that the two simply fell out of love, according to the report.
“There have never been any allegations that Amanda was an unfit mother or that there was any abuse, nothing like that whatsoever,” Block said.
According to the report, Steve was landing in Florida when he heard about what happened.
“Steve had to go out of town on business and he literally was just landing in Florida when he got the call from Amanda,” Block said. “At first he thought she was making a joke or being sarcastic. It took a moment for it to sink in that it was real. The poor guy had to get straight back on a plane and come back. All he can repeat is, what do I do now? This is my only son.”
Fox News’ Louis Casiano contributed to this report.