Two babies died within an hour of each other miles apart in separate tragic incidents during a heatwave across the US on Friday.
A girl, one, was left in a hot minivan for more than eight hours in the car park of a train station in Lindenwold, New Jersey, as temperatures reached above 30°C.
Some 900 miles away in Booneville, Mississippi, a one-year-old boy was also found dead in a hot car as the mercury rose to 33°C.
According to a friend of the family, a parent of the little boy believed he’d been dropped off at nursery earlier in the day and didn’t realise he was still in the car until they went to pick him up at the end of the day.
Authorities say the boy had been left in the car ‘for several hours’.
In Lindenwold, 22-month-old Milliani Robertson-Lawrence was found unresponsive in her car seat with the passenger window broken after police were called at around 3.30pm.
She was pronounced dead at the scene just before 4pm. Authorities have not yet released an official cause of death.
According to the child’s father Nasie Lawrence, Milliani was being cared for by her aunt and uncle and investigators say she may have been left in the car for more than eight hours.
Mr Lawrence told CBS: ‘Once I got the call, I thought it was a joke. I pretty much broken down and lost my mind.’
The father has just been released from prison where he had been for the last 18 months and was in the process of trying to get custody of his daughter.
He said: ‘How do you forget that there’s a two-year-old who makes a lot of noise in the car? You killed my daughter. You took her from me.’
No charges have been filed by police, a spokeswoman for the Camden County prosecutor’s office said, but a police investigation is underway.
The boy in Booneville, who has not been named, was found in a car park shared by Mighty Cubs Daycare and Field of Dreams adult daycare, though ‘neither business had anything to do with the events that led to the death of the child’, Booneville police said.
Police were called at around 5pm after the car arrived at the daycare car park.
The boy was pronounced dead at the scene. No arrests have been made, police said.
According to charity KidsAndCars.org, 35 children have died in hot cars in the US so far this year.