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Dad Charged with Murder after Leaving Toddler in Hot Car

The Short of It

Baltimore dad Wilbert Carter has been charged with murder and child abuse after leaving his 2-year-old daughter Leasia in a hot car for 16 hours on Father's Day.

The Lowdown

On Sunday, 31-year-old Carter was taking care of his daughter, for whom he has sole parental custody, when he started drinking alcohol. According to the Associated Press, Carter told police that a friend drove him back from the Dundalk area around midnight and parked on Brendan Avenue. He was unclear where he went after the car was parked. He later passed out at home, and when he woke up Monday afternoon, he couldn't remember where his car was parked or where his daughter was. Carter asked his mother and aunt where Leasia was, and the women told him they thought she was with Carter's sister because he had come home alone around 7 a.m.

On Monday evening, Carter's cousin called him to tell him he'd found his Lincoln Town car. When Carter got there, he found Leasia still strapped into her car seat and unresponsive. When paramedics arrived, they found the girl unconscious and suffering from second-degree burns. She was pronounced dead at the hospital. It had reached 89 degrees outside during the time Leasia was in the car.

Carter was arrested and charged with murder and child abuse a few hours later.

The Upshot

According to the charging documents, Carter has a history of heavy drinking and "in the past has consumed alcohol to the point of passing out." This does not sound like a man who should have been in charge of taking care of a little kid. Maybe this tragedy could have been prevented if someone—friends, family or social services—had intervened.

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