Two Alabama parents have been charged with manslaughter after their three-year-old son was found dead inside a hot car on Sunday.
Dakota Heath Fowler, 20, and his partner Brandi Michelle Burks, 22, could now face up to 20 years behind bars for their son’s death.
The pair are currently being held in the Franklin County jail without bail set, according to inmate records.
According to a press release, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call on Sunday reporting an unresponsive toddler in a car on Church Street in Hodges.
Emergency crews attempted to resuscitate the three-year-old boy, but attempts were unsuccessful and he was declared dead.
Fowler and Burks told authorities that they last saw their son around midnight when they put him down for bed.
Dakota Heath Fowler (left) and Brandi Michelle Burks (right) were charged with manslaughter on Sunday in relation to the death of their three-year-old son
‘Whey they woke up around 3:00 p.m., they were unable to locate the child and then found him in a car,’ the press release said.
Sheriff Shannon Oliver told AL.com that the boy’s sudden death was a unfortunate accident.
‘I don’t feel there was any intent there,’ said Oliver. ‘I think it was neglect, which sadly cost the little guy’s life.
‘It’s just a sad situation all around. These types of cases are really hard for everybody,’ he added.
The child’s body was sent to the Department of Forensics for an autopsy that will determine the official cause of death. The investigation is ongoing.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 14 children have died from a heatstroke so far this year.
The first death was recorded on April 25 when a four-year-old child was left home along and climbed into a vehicle without his parents noticing.