In a harrowing event in York County, Virginia, an 11-month-old baby named Myrical Wicker and a dog succumbed to the deadly heat after being trapped inside a vehicle for around six hours.
The caretaker, Kristen D. Graham, 40, was taken into custody on Tuesday, facing charges of felony child neglect and animal cruelty, as revealed by the York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office.
In a press briefing on Facebook, Sheriff Ron Montgomery provided insight into the incident. Graham, who had the responsibility of watching over both the infant and the dog, lived in Seaford with an elderly man in his 80s and the baby.
The elderly man, in a state of distress, brought Myrical to the emergency room on Tuesday afternoon, leading medical staff to a shocking discovery of the deceased baby inside a black trash bag in the car.
Piecing together the events, Montgomery explained that Graham had been caring for Myrical for two days. On an ill-fated day, after a visit to a friend’s house in the early hours, she returned home around 8 a.m. and, in a regrettable decision, locked the car and left both the child and the dog inside. The temperature was scorching with a heat index surpassing 100 degrees.
Graham, who later falsified her initial statement of staying inside the car with the baby and dog, was awakened by a phone call between 2 to 2:30 p.m., only to find Myrical lifeless. Subsequently, the older man rushed the baby to the hospital.
Sheriff Montgomery lamented the needless loss, stating, “It’s senseless that something like this happens.” The investigation is still in progress, with autopsy results awaited.
Myrical’s heartbroken grandmother, Frances Spires, paid tribute to the little one on Facebook and set up a GoFundMe for her grieving daughter Arianna, the baby’s mother.