Gilbert dad won’t be prosecuted in daughter’s hot car death

Jan 14, 2020, 5:20 PM
(KTAR News Photo/Ali Vetnar)...
(KTAR News Photo/Ali Vetnar)
(KTAR News Photo/Ali Vetnar)

PHOENIX – For the second time this month, metro Phoenix prosecutors decided not to press charges in the death of a child left in a hot car last year.

A father who left his 3-year-old daughter in a vehicle outside their Gilbert home on Sept. 3 will not be prosecuted, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office said in a press release Tuesday.

“This case did not support a reasonable likelihood of conviction at trial,” the release said.

Police said the child had been in the car two to three hours on a day when the temperature reached 109 degrees.

Gilbert police arrested the man in December after completing their investigation referred the case to county prosecutors, who have final say on the pursuit of charges.

Days after the incident, police released redacted transcripts of the 911 calls from the girl’s parents.

In the call from the mother, who was at work, the operator asked if the father was taking the girl, identified as Charlie, to school that morning.

The response: “No, she was supposed to go to school and we decided to keep her home, cause we’re leaving on vacation tomorrow. And so, he was just gonna keep her today. And he – I just called him at lunch break and I asked how (Charlie’s) doing and he’s like, oh my God. Where’s (Charlie)? Oh my God. Oh my God. Is – is she in the car (unintelligible)? And then he ran out there and she was in the car.”

In the other call, the operator gave directions about how to perform CPR after the father said the girl wasn’t breathing.

“Oh my God I just didn’t drop her off at school today,” he said at one point.

Tuesday’s announcement came a week after MCAO said it wouldn’t prosecute the foster father of a baby girl who died after he left her in a vehicle last year in Phoenix.

The 4-month-old girl was found dead Oct. 1 at the Washington Elementary School District Service Center in the personal vehicle of her 56-year-old foster father, a district administrator who worked there.

The high temperature in Phoenix was around 90 degrees that day.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says the inside of a car can heat up to 120 degrees in 30 minutes even when the outside temperature is 85 degrees.

According to, four Arizona children died in 2019 after being left in hot cars.

In September, Dawn Peabody of told KTAR News 92.3 FM that most hot car deaths are accidents, not cases where the caretaker purposely left a child in the car without understanding the danger.

Peabody and other advocates are pushing for federal legislation to make back seat sensor alarm technology mandatory in all new vehicles.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Arizona Department of Public Safety Photo)...

Man arrested in Chandler after authorities find over 35 pounds of fentanyl

A man was arrested in Chandler last week after authorities seized over 35 pounds of fentanyl pills from his vehicle during a drug trafficking investigation. 
22 hours ago
(KTAR News Photo/Jim Cross)...

Monsoon storms brings rain to parts of Valley, more expected this week

Thunder and rain storms appeared across the Valley Wednesday evening, also bringing rain to metro Phoenix. 
22 hours ago
(El Mirage Police Department Video Screenshot)...
SuElen Rivera

El Mirage police release video of elementary school lockdown

The El Mirage Police Department on Tuesday released body-worn camera footage of an elementary school lockdown where three people were arrested last week. 
22 hours ago
FILE - A dead fish that used to be underwater sits on cracked earth above the water level on Lake M...
Associated Press

How new Colorado River cuts will impact Arizona, residents

Arizona and Nevada residents won't face bans on watering their lawns or washing their cars despite more Colorado River water shortages.
22 hours ago
(Twitter Photo/@DougDucey)...
Danny Shapiro

Sen. Mark Kelly says he understands Arizona Gov. Ducey’s initiative to close border wall gaps

U.S. Sen. Mark Kelly of Arizona says he gets why Gov. Doug Ducey is filling in gaps at the U.S.-Mexico border.
22 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Children's Hospital Foundation)...

By the numbers: How Phoenix Children’s continues to provide lifesaving work

Here's how Phoenix Children's operation continues to flourish and save lives as our Give-A-Thon rolls on.
22 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
(Courtesy Condor)...
Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines shows passion for destinations from Sky Harbor with new-look aircraft

Condor Airlines brings passion to each flight and connects people to their dream destinations throughout the world.
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
Gilbert dad won’t be prosecuted in daughter’s hot car death