The father, who has not been named, had left the child unattended for three hours on Tuesday, June 28, while he was at work, police officials said.
After finding his 18-month-old child motionless inside the car, he shot himself.
He was found dead on Tuesday in Chesterfield with a gunshot wound to the head in the woods behind his home after police received reports he was threatening to harm himself. Officers found the body of the young child inside the home.
“This is a horrible tragedy on so many levels,” Chesterfield Police Lt. Col. Christopher Hensley said.
Police speculate the father went to work in the morning for three hours and forgot to drop his son off at daycare during an ongoing heatwave.
The child’s family alerted police on Tuesday morning that the boy had not shown up to daycare.
Officers responded to the home located at the 14100 block of Aldengate Road after the family received suicidal statements from the boy’s father.
Hensley said: “Upon their arrival, they located the people in the driveway with an open door with an empty child seat in the vehicle. As they made entry into the residence, they found a deceased 18-month-old.”
The father was found shortly after, where the family said he would be.
“Our hearts go out to the family and friends that are going to deal with this, but we would be remiss in not taking the opportunity for people to take this moment and realize how important it is to obviously check your vehicles,” Hensley continued
Several hot car deaths have been recorded in 2022 after children were forgotten in cars.