Apparently in an attempt to cool his daughter down, Michael did the unthinkable: He placed his daughter in the refrigerator, among the groceries, and left her there for “an undetermined length of time,” authorities said.
When Michael Thedford arrived at the day care Tuesday morning to drop off his three children, he found that the youngest, his 6-month old daughter, was a little ill and running a fever. So he dropped off the 5-year-old and the 3-year-old and headed back home in his van with the infant, Fern.
When he reached his house., though, he decided he needed a nap. In his haste to get inside, he forgot Fern in the van while he slept for about four hours, according to the arrest warrant.
The temperature in Melissa soared to 95 degrees that day.
At 1 p.m., Michael woke up and realized his daughter was in the car. Panicking, he ran to the front yard, according to the warrant. When he reached the van and flung open the door, he found his daughter “stiff” as a board and “hot as a brick.”
She was unresponsive as he carried her little body into the house.
Apparently in an attempt to cool her down, Michael then did the unthinkable: He placed his daughter in the refrigerator, among the Thedfords’ groceries, and left her there for “an undetermined length of time,” authorities said.
After a while, he pulled her body from the fridge and attempted to perform CPR. Only then did he call his wife and the authorities, both of whom rushed to the house.
According to a neighbor, the couple hugged and cried together.
Fern was dead. Michael has since been charged with manslaughter.
The Thedfords had always seemed like a loving family, a neighbor said. Michael worked as a substitute teacher, and his wife was a well-known local veterinarian. In fact, Contreras had witnessed the family laughing and joking around just a few days prior.
“It’s kind of shocking how this happened because on Sunday we saw family members and them having a good time for Father’s Day,” Contreras said.
He’s right. As of June 9, at least 11 children had died in 2016 after being left in hot cars, CNN reported. That’s triple the number of deaths recorded in 2015. Since 1990, about 700 children have perished this way in the United States, according to the nonprofit safety group Kids and Cars.
The temperature in a car can rise rapidly, and children left inside — even for just a half hour, even on a relatively cool spring or summer day — are almost immediately in danger.
Courtesy of the Washington post