Father faces charges after leaving son in hot car

HAZELWOOD, MO (KPLR) – At least 27 children in the U.S. have died from heatstroke this year (2016) after being left alone in cars.

An employee at a Bridgeton business may have prevented a Hazelwood 4-year-old boy from the same fate on Friday.  He was working at COPART, an auto auction firm in the 13000 block of Taussig when he saw the child suffering seizures inside his father’s parked vehicle.

Bridgeton police were called and the child was rushed to a hospital where his core body temperature measured 105 degrees. Court documents indicate the boy was placed in the intensive care unit with swelling on his brain and other symptoms of heat stroke.  He had been inside the closed vehicle for an hour and forty minutes.

The St. Louis County Prosecutor charged the boy’s father, 32-year old Charles Njeri of Hazelwood with endangering the welfare of a child.  He is being held in the St. Louis County Jail on a cash only $50,000 bond.

Tuesday the child remained hospitalized in the intensive care unit, but was reported to be improving.