2-year-old dies after falling asleep in hot van

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Authorities found the boy after they were called around 6:40 p.m. Saturday to a report of an unresponsive child at a home in Winchester Hills, St. George News reported.

The child was pronounced dead at the scene, the news site reported.

The Washington County Attorney’s Office is reviewing the case to determine whether any charges will be filed, although sheriff’s office spokesman David Crouse told The Salt Lake Tribune that it appeared the child’s death was “a tragic accident.”

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In a statement released to St. George News, deputies said the 2-year-old boy was one of as many as 35 children brought to St. George for a family reunion. The group traveled to St. George for an activity. Deputies believe that the 2-year-old fell asleep on the trip back to Winchester Hills, but no one noticed that he didn’t get out of the van. Meanwhile, a majority of the adults got ready for a religious meeting in St. George.

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Crouse said at a news conference Monday that teenage family members were watching the children as the adults went to the meeting, KSTU reported.

When they returned to Winchester Hills, the boy’s absence was noticed. His father found him in the van, according to deputies.

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It was not clear how long he had been left in the vehicle, although Crouse told the Tribune that the boy appeared to have been in the car for at least six hours.

St. George saw a high of 109 degrees on Saturday, according to the Tribune.

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