Virginia dad dies by suicide after toddler’s hot car death

A Virginia father who allegedly left his 18-month-old boy unattended in the car for hours on Tuesday pulled his son’s body out of the car and then went out back and fatally shot himself, according to police.

The toddler was found dead inside the Midlothian home Tuesday and his father in a “wooded area behind the house deceased from an apparent gunshot wound,” the Chesterfield Police Department said.

Neither father nor son have been publicly identified and police did not immediately return a request for comment from the Daily News Wednesday.

Police responded to the home just after 11:30 a.m. Tuesday after the toddler’s mother reported that he had not been dropped off at daycare and may be in danger, officials said in a statement. The father was also reportedly making “suicide statements.”

When officers arrived, they found an empty car seat in the car, Lt. Col. Christopher Hensley said at a press conference.

“Things went sideways at some point and obviously it appears that the father forgot that the child was in the car,” Hensley said.

“This is a horrible tragedy on so many levels. And our hearts go out to the family and friends that are going to deal with this.”

Temperatures were in the 80s on Tuesday.

The toddler is at least the eighth child to die in a hot car this year, according to the nonprofit Kids and Car Safety.

Experts urge parents and caretakers to always check the car before getting out and place a diaper bag or other noticeable item in the front seat as a reminder.

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