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Sheriff: No sign of criminal intent in hot car death; decision on charges likely weeks away


CHICKAMAUGA, Georgia — The investigation into the death of a Georgia toddler in a hot car has uncovered no signs of any criminal intent, a sheriff said Tuesday.

The death of 11-month-old Jaxon Taylor appears to be an accident after family members left him in a car on a 90-degree day in the northwest Georgia town of Chickamauga, Walker County Sheriff Steve Wilson said.

"There's not anything that we have uncovered to this point that shows any criminal intent," Wilson said.

The boy and his grandparents and aunt returned from church and went inside the family home, sheriff's officials said. It appears that no one realized the child was still in the car until his mother asked about him two hours later, the sheriff said.

Wilson said he expects to turn over the investigation to the prosecutor's office for consideration of charges in several weeks, when full autopsy reports are completed.

On average, about 38 children die heat-related deaths while trapped in hot cars every year, according to the nonprofit group KidsAndCars.org, which tracks such deaths nationwide.

Wilson received a telephone call informing him of the death while he and his family celebrated his granddaughter's 2nd birthday, he recalled.

"I was celebrating the love of my life, her second birthday," he said. "To hear that ... it really hit me hard personally."

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