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UPDATE: Cause of death released in Walker County child's hot car death

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  • Authorities remind parents to "Look Before You Lock"

    Authorities remind parents to "Look Before You Lock"

    Monday, September 7 2015 7:14 PM EDT2015-09-07 23:14:16 GMT
    An infant in Whitfield County is the 19th child in the U.S. to die in a hot car this year.Authorities say there are numerous ways to prevent these kinds of deaths. It can be as simple as making a habit out of double-checking your back seat. More
    An infant in Whitfield County is the 19th child in the U.S. to die in a hot car this year.Authorities say there are numerous ways to prevent these kinds of deaths. It can be as simple as making a habit out of double-checking your back seat. More
WALKER COUNTY, GA (WRCB) -

UPDATE: Walker County Sheriff Steve Wilson said in a new release that the autopsy revealed 11 month-old Jaxon Taylor died from hyperthermia, due to exposure to a hot environment.

The autopsy was performed by the The Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Laboratory 
 
The investigation is continuing, according to Wilson.  

Toxicology and other test results will take up to six weeks to receive confirmation from the crime laboratory.
 
Wilson & Sons Funeral Home, Ft. Oglethorpe, Georgia is in charge of arrangements.

A Facebook post from Mandie Hendershot reads:

It is very widespread news at this point that my son died on Saturday, September 5th at 11 months and 8 days old. There have been many news reports, and various stories. I was not there, and he was in the care of his grandparents, my parents. His death was a horrific, tragic event and has devestated many. My son had the best two grandparents any baby ever had in his short time here. These are grandparents that were there through my long, 23 hour labor. These are the grandparents that took him some weekend nights and walked for hours when he had colic and was inconsolable. These are the grandparents that watched him roll over, sit up, crawl and pull himself up for the first time. These people held and loved him when he was sick, feverish or fussy. These are the people that could make him smile and laugh when no one else could. They were there for him every day of his life, and my son loved them unconditionally the same way they did. What happened was terrible, there is no arguement for that. But who of us hasn't made a mistake, such a horrible mistake that we thought nobody else could forgive it? Who hasn't had others judge them, and spit on them and spew hatred? Since every one of us has done terrible things and caused immense pain to others, who but God can condemn? I am in more pain than any human has ever experienced, but I chose to let go of hatred and blame. I remember my sweet boy with love and grief, and I will always love him.


PREVIOUS STORY: The Walker County Sheriff has released the name of the infant left in a hot car in Chickamauga on Saturday.

Sheriff Steve Wilson said 11-month-old Jaxon Taylor did not survive after being left inside a SUV for more than two hours. Currently, investigators believe the infant’s death was an accident. However, criminal charges have not been ruled out yet.

It was a humid 90-degrees outside on Saturday. Wilson said temperatures inside a car can climb up to 170 degrees within 15 minutes.

The Sheriff’s Office said the baby’s grandparents, Kyle and Meta Hendershot, attended a church service that afternoon. Upon returning to their home on Kensington Road in Chickamauga, the baby’s grandparents, aunt, and cousin went inside without realizing baby Jaxon was still in his car seat.

The child's grandparents were watching the infant while the child's mother, Mandie, slept for her third-shift nursing job at Hutcheson Medical Center. 

After the mother woke up, she discovered her child had been left in the hot car. She tried reviving him with CPR and cold water, but it was too late.

Wilson believes poor communication likely contributed to the child’s tragic death.

"We believe, at this point, that each adult may have thought the other adult had responsibility to get that child out. When they got inside, they just did not confirm or communicate that to each other," Wilson said.

It's a tough case, even for law enforcement veterans. Wilson said it hits close to home, because he has a two-year-old granddaughter.

"I was at her birthday party when I got the call yesterday, and I get emotional thinking about it," the Sheriff said, pushing back tears.

"It hit me so hard just thinking about the child, the family, what they're going through, and what they'll be going through for weeks and years to come."


PREVIOUS STORY: The Walker County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the death of an infant left in a hot car for more than two hours at a home in Chickamauga.

Deputies say the aunt of the 11-month-old boy, along with the boy’s grandparents, and another infant in an SUV, arrived home from church around 3:00 p.m. All exited the vehicle but left the child inside the SUV.

Police say the mother of the boy, who works a night shift, was inside the home, asleep.

Two hours later she woke up asking her parents where the child was. After finding him in the SUV she began CPR and called 911.

Investigators and emergency responders arrived at the home on Kensington Road just before 5:30 Saturday evening. The child was transported to Hutcheson Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

Sheriff Steve Wilson says the temperature reached 88 to 90 degrees Saturday afternoon with 48 percent humidity. He says the temperature in a closed vehicle can reach as high as 131 – 172 degrees in as little as 15 minutes.

The infant’s death is currently under investigation by the Walker County Sheriff’s Office and the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit’s Child Fatality review team.

The body will be transported to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s crime lab for an autopsy.

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