September 17, 2019
The legal guardian of the toddler who died after being left inside a vehicle parked at the Lindenwold PATCO station last month is facing charges.
Shelton Shambry, 60, is charged with abuse and neglect after police said he allegedly left a 22-month-old girl in the hot minivan for hours at the New Jersey rail station on Aug. 16.
The temperature that day reached 89 degrees.
Shambry has been released pending future court proceedings, according to the Camden County Prosecutor's Office.
Investigators determined Shambry put the child in the vehicle prior to 6:30 a.m. and allegedly forgot that the child was inside when he parked and got out. The medical examiner ruled that the child's death was accidental.
The police responded to the PATCO station parking lot following a 911 call placed at 3:38 p.m., authorities said. Delaware River Port Authority and Lindenwold Police arrived at the scene and found the girl unresponsive in her car seat. She was pronounced dead around 3:54 p.m.
According to the National Safety Council, 53.8% of pediatric vehicular heatstroke deaths were due to the caregiver forgetting the child in the car. Of those, 18.6% of children were knowingly left in the car, while 26.3% resulted from a child gaining access to the car.
Children are at the greatest risk for heatstroke as their bodies heat up three to five times faster than an adult. The NSC reminds parents to put something like a purse or shoe in the backseat to force yourself to take one last look before exiting the vehicle.