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4-year-old who died after being left in hot car while father worked at food festival identified

May 07, 2019 03:09 PM

A child who died while sitting in a hot car for several hours while his father worked at CHS Field has been identified. 

According to St. Paul police, the child has been identified as 4-year-old Riley Taylor.

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RELATED: Man accused of leaving his son for hours in a hot car at CHS Field charged with manslaughter

The father, 26-year-old Kristopher Taylor, from Apple Valley, was charged Monday in Ramsey County. He is facing a second-degree manslaughter charge as he made his first court appearance Monday afternoon. Bail was set at $25,000 without conditions. 

According to the criminal complaint, Taylor - who was arrested at the hospital - said he and his son had gone to an event at which he was scheduled to work at CHS Field Saturday. He said that he got his son settled on the outfield grass where he could see him. When the boy said he was tired, Taylor allegedly said he took him to the vehicle. The complaint claims he told police he "hit the automatic window and thought he left it cracked maybe 1/2 or 1/4 of an inch." He then allegedly "gave the boy a blanket and a hand-held gaming system to entertain him if he didn't sleep."

The complaint states that when Taylor returned to the vehicle after getting done with work around 5:15 p.m., he called his son's name and got no response. He then found his son had no pulse, which led him to place the boy in the front passenger seat and drive to the hospital, holding his son's hand en route.

But a police sergeant later spoke to two of his co-workers, who both said Taylor never left his shift, the complaint claims. And, in a second conversation with the sergeant, Taylor allegedly admitted he had left his son in the vehicle for the entirety of his shift. 

"The vehicle was totally exposed to the sun with no shade whatsoever and that could've definitely contributed to the tragic outcome," Steve Linders, spokesperson with the St. Paul Police Department, said.

Janette Fennell runs kidsandcars.org, a non-profit organization to promotes child safety. She is aware of Taylor's death and said the temperature "increased 40 degrees to above 100 degrees and that level for several hours, the little one didn't have a chance."

According to the complaint, the Ramsey County Medical Examiner determined the cause of the boy's death to be hyperthermia.  That means his body temperature rose above 104 degree's and couldn't cool down. 

His next appearance is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Friday.

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Tommy Wiita & Beth McDonough

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