A 7-month-old boy was declared dead Friday afternoon after he was found not breathing in a hot car outside a house in northeast Phoenix, authorities said.

Emergency personnel were called about 4 p.m. to the 4500 block of East Monte Cristo, near 44th Street and Greenway Road, police said.

Witnesses reported that the infant had been left in a vehicle and was unresponsive, police said.

An investigation was continuing.

Four cars were parked at the house, two inside the garage and two outside.

The boy’s grandparents, two of their four daughters and the baby live at the house, said Michelle Anderson, one of the baby’s aunts.

She arrived at the house Friday evening, about 2 1/2 hours after police were called.

“How could this happen to good people and a good boy,” she said while wiping away her tears. “He never cried and was so happy.”

She said family members usually pick up the baby from day care at about 3:30 p.m.

Mark Peterson, 56, said he was cleaning the swimming pool at the house of the boy’s family about a half-hour before police arrived.

Peterson, a neighbor for 20 years, said he cleaned the family’s pool weekly. He said he waved to the boy’s grandfather but did not speak to him.

Peterson said he did not hear sounds from any of the cars.

Shuree Ohlemann, who was out walking her 7-month-old son, Tatum, expressed shock about the baby’s death, which happened just three blocks from her home.

“It’s devastating,” she said. “I can’t imagine what the child must have went through. It’s too hot for him (Tatum) just walking with me outside right now.”

No hot-car deaths were reported in Maricopa County in 2016 or so far in 2017, according to data from the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office and Republic research.

For more information on the dangers of leaving children and pets unattended inside a parked vehicle, visit safekidsaz.org/vehicular-heatstroke. The site includes information about heat stroke, tips for avoiding distractions when unloading a vehicle with a child in a rear seat, and more information.


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