The death of a 15-month-old boy who was left in a hot car in Ridgefield, Connecticut, on July 7 has been ruled a homicide.
Benjamin Seitz died of hyperthermia July 7 due to environmental exposure, the medical examiner has determined. Detectives are in the process of meeting with officials from the state's attorney's office.
Police said the child's father, Kyle Seitz, was supposed to drop the little boy off at day care but instead drove to his workplace, Owl Computing Technologies, at 38A Grove Street in Ridgefield, with the baby still in the car.
According to investigators, Kyle Seitz parked his vehicle at work with Benjamin still inside and left him there for "an extended period of time," on a day when temperatures in the area reached 88 degrees.
Lindsay Rogers-Seitz, Benjamin's mother, said her husband went to the daycare to pick up Ben. When he learned his son wasn't there, he asked the staff if his wife had picked him up earlier in the day.
He was told she had not, and so he went back to his car, found Ben then rushed him to Danbury Hospital, Rogers-Seitz said.
As she deals with the grief of losing her son, Lindsay Rogers-Seitz said she forgives her husband for leaving their son in the car and has decided to channel her grief into activism.
The couple is spreading the word about hyperthermia in children and Rogers-Seitz started a blog, The Gift of Ben, to raise awareness of heatstroke in children and help others avoid the tragedy she suffered.
According to the NHTSA, hyperthermia is the leading cause of non-crash-related death in children under the age of 15.