Child dies after being left all day in hot car - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Child dies after being left all day in hot car


Metro police are investigating the apparent heat-related death of a child who was found unresponsive inside a hot car near a Donelson church daycare Tuesday.

Police were called before 3 p.m. to Donelson Heights United Methodist Church at 84 Fairway Dr. after the child's mother arrived to pick the child up at the end of the day.

The child's mother, Stephanie Gray, 38, arrived to the daycare at about 2:30 p.m., where she was told her son, Joel Gray, 5 months old, was not there, police said.

"She was informed that her son was not there. She ran to her minivan, found her 5-month-old child inside the van and she carried her child into the daycare. It's believed he died in the van from the heat," said Metro police representative Kris Mumford.

Police said workers from a daycare inside the church were unsuccessful in attempts to revive the child.

The investigation indicates Stephanie Gray took two of her children, ages 6 and 9, to school Tuesday morning before returning home and picking up her 11-year-old son and Joel.

She then dropped off the 11-year-old child at his middle school before driving home without dropping Joel off at daycare. Monday was the 5-month-old's first day at daycare.

No charges have been filed, police said.

Joel Gray is the third young child to die in a hot car in Middle Tennessee just in the past week.

Last Thursday, two children were found dead inside a vehicle in Smyrna after their mother, Samantha Harper, apparently put them in the car before falling asleep inside her house.

Harper was charged with two counts of especially aggravated child abuse in that case, and additional charges could be pending in that case.

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