O'Fallon, Ill., resident Wayne Hubert is charged with involuntary manslaughter after allegedly leaving his nearly 2-year-old son, Nathan, strapped in a hot car for more than two hours while he passed out intoxicated inside his house on June 20.
Hubert, 32, also faces two counts of child endangerment for leaving his 5-year-old daughter unattended. Police told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the boy was found by his mother when she returned from work at about 5 p.m. He was already dead.
The St. Clair County Coroner’s office said the boy's body temperature was above 104 degrees when he was found.
Hubert was released on bond Saturday, KMOV reports.
According to KidsAndCars.org, a nonprofit child safety organization dedicated to preventing injuries and death to children in or around motor vehicles, there were 33 child deaths as a result of vehicular heat stroke in the United States in 2011.
"A child’s body temperature rises three to five times faster than an adult’s," the organization's literature explains. "Even with the windows partially down, the temperature inside a parked car can reach 125 degrees in just minutes."
The organization also notes that leaving the windows partially opened does not slow the rate at which a car heats, nor decrease how hot the car can get.