Infant left in hot car dies, father charged with involuntary manslaughter

A Leonardtown man was charged Thursday with accidentally killing his infant son after leaving the child in a hot car for several hours, according to the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland.

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A criminal complaint filed against John MacDonald Junek alleges Junek forgot to drop his son off at a daycare center and instead, left the child strapped in his car seat after going to work at the Naval Air Station Patuxent River on Sept. 3.

“Junek explained that he entered the base and drove directly to his office, leaving his son in his rear-facing car seat in his locked vehicle at approximately 8:50 a.m.,” according to a release.

“According to the criminal complaint, Junek's wife called him at 3:20 p.m. to see if he had their son's car seat with him,” the release continued. “Junek could not recall whether he had the car seat and realized that he may not have dropped the baby off at the [Child Development Center].”  

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Junek drove from his office to a meeting at about 1 p.m. without realizing the child was in the car. Junek told authorities that “he had been in a hurry” to get the meeting, according to the release.

Junek called for paramedics after he found his unconscious son in the backseat. He tried to save him by performing CPR until EMS arrived.

It was 85 degrees outside on Sept. 3.

“Junek faces a maximum sentence of eight years in prison for involuntary manslaughter. He is currently detained,” the release states. “A criminal complaint is not a finding of guilt.  An individual charged by criminal complaint is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.”

Stay with ABC2 News as we continue to update this story.  

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