2-Year-Old Dies in Hot Car Amid 92F Heat Wave: Kansas Sheriff

A 2-year-old child has died after being found unresponsive inside a car in Scranton, Kansas, on Sunday afternoon, police said.

Officers from Osage County Sheriff's Office were called to an address, which hasn't been made public, in northern Osage County at 3.40 p.m. local time.

The child was rushed to Topeka's Stormont Vail Health where they were pronounced dead, according to Sheriff Chris Wells.

According to 13 WIBW, the sheriff said there were indications the death may have been related to heat. Police have opened an investigation.

Child found dead in Scranton Kansas car
The two-year-old was found unresponsive inside a car in Scranton, Kansas (stock photo) Mark Reinstein/GETTY

The National Weather Service reported temperatures in Topeka, situated about 23 miles to the north of Scranton, peaked at 92F on Sunday with an average of 80.5F throughout the day.

The temperature at 4 p.m., shortly after the police were called, was 90F with a heat index of 101.

The name of the deceased child has not been made publicly available.

Speaking to Newsweek, Wells said they have information that indicates the child "climbed into the vehicle" rather than being left there.

He said: "This incident is still under thorough investigation. All evidence as of this moment indicates this was a tragic accident, and that no crime was committed.

"The child was a boy, and information we are gathering indicates the child was likely playing and climbed into the vehicle, rather than being left in the vehicle.

"At this time, we will not be releasing the name of the child or the child's family."

An autopsy will take place to determine the exact cause of death.

Scranton, a former coal town named after Scranton, Pennsylvania, had a population of 653 according to the 2020 census.

The town had an average household income of $58,214, with 12.5 percent of its residents holding a bachelor's degree or higher.

According to its Clerk's Office, the community consists "primarily of single family housing, several rental properties, two mobile home parks and an income based apartment complex for the aging and disabled".

In July, an 11-year-old baby boy died in his mother's hot car while she completed a hospice shift in Florida.

Tallahassee Police said the child was left in the vehicle "inadvertently" and found "unresponsive" by his mother when she finished her day's work.

Speaking to WCTV, Paige Stewart, from Safe Kids Big Bend, warned: "Being in a vehicle for any certain amount of time will take anyone's temperature up by any number of degrees and for children, their bodies heat up by 3 to 5 times faster than adults."

Nonprofit KidsandCars reports 12 children have died across the U.S. so far this year in car heat-related incidents.

On June 26, a 3-year-old boy from Columbus, Georgia, died of asphyxiation after being left in a hot car for three hours, according to the Muscogee County coroner.

In the same month a 5-year-old died after being left in a car in Houston, Texas, with the incident being investigated by Harris County Sheriff's Office.

Update, 08/03/22 2:09 a.m. ET: This article was updated with comment from Sheriff Chris Wells.