MONTGOMERY, AL – A father in Alabama who claims that he accidently forgot to drop his 2 year-old son off at daycare on his way to work on Monday – only to horrifically discover his child dead in the back seat of his car hours later – has been charged with reckless murder, according to authorities.
Shawn Rounsavall, 51, drove to a local daycare center at approximately 4:30 p.m. to pick up his son, whom he believed he had dropped off earlier that day; however, staff members at the facility said that the child had never been dropped off that morning, officials say.
Confused and frightened, Rounsavall then rushed back out to his car, where he found his son unresponsive, still sitting on the back seat where he had been placed that morning; the frantic father then rushed the boy to a local area hospital, where doctors pronounced him dead, said Atmore Police Chief Chuck Brooks.
“This is a terrible, terrible tragedy. This community is shocked,” Chief Brooks said.
Police say that Rounsavall had allegedly put his son in the back seat of his car that morning, intending to drop him off at daycare before heading to work the entire day at his restaurant in the Atmore community’s downtown area.
However, officials say that Rounsavall then forgot to drop the child off, leaving him in the car – with the windows completely closed – for hours while he worked his entire shift; temperatures in Atmore reportedly hit as high as 80 degrees that day, as per the Weather Channel.
The child will be undergoing an autopsy to ascertain the exact cause of death, police say.
Rounsavall bond was set at $500,000 at a hearing held on Tuesday.
As per the nonprofit child safety organization Kids and Car Safety, approximately 39 children die annually in the United States as a result of being accidently left in hot cars, with more than 900 deaths recorded under such circumstances since 1998.