Baby left in hot vehicle dies, Rockledge police say

Father forgot that his daughter was in truck, police say

ROCKLEDGE, Fla. - Police continue to investigate after a baby was found dead Monday afternoon in a vehicle outside a central Florida business.

Rocklege police said Steven Lillie, the 9-month-old girl's father, found his daughter unresponsive in his truck outside his workplace at 566 Barton Blvd.

Police said the girl had been left inside the closed truck for about four hours during the hottest time of the day.

"The temperature would have been brutal," said Rockledge police Lt. Donna Seyferth.

Police believe Lillie arrived at work sometime after 1 p.m. Monday. They found the child in her car seat in the backseat of the truck, and although the windows were tinted, they were rolled up.

Police on Tuesday said Lillie left for work intending to drop his daughter off with a caregiver.  Some type of disruption in Lillie's normal routine, however, caused him to forget that he had not dropped off the baby, police said.  About four hours later, a family member asking about the girl prompted Lillie to run outside, where he found his daughter inside the truck, police said.

A co-worker called 911 when Lillie was heard screaming.  Witnesses told Local 6 that Lillie was so distraught he collapsed.

"She's been in the car for hours and I, I absolutely forgot about her -- she's not alive," said the father in the 911 call.

Paramedics rushed the girl to Wuesthoff Hospital, where she died.

Police spent the evening speaking with Lillie at the hospital, but no arrests have been made.

"It's a fine line allowing them to grieve and conducting a criminal investigation at the same time," said Seyferth, who said it appears the girl's death was just a horrible accident.

"I got goosebumps. I'm ready to cry for these parents. It's hard," said Darlene Decker, who came with her family to lay balloons and Teddy bears in support of the family in mourning.

At this time Lillie is not facing criminal charges.

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