State Steps Into Investigation Of Death Of Baby Left In Hot Car

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE/WIBW) - Police have arrested a foster parent for the death of a child left in a hot car in Wichita and, Friday, the state launched its own investigation.

Police say the ten-month-old girl was found just after 6:30 pm Thursday. She'd been left in a car with the windows rolled up for more than two-and-a-half hours.

Police say she was the foster child of two men. One of them had picked the infant up from a babysitter earlier in the day. Police say they didn't realize she was still in the car until something on television jogged their memories.

29-year-old Seth Jackson was booked for aggravated child endangerment. He's being held on $100,000 bond. Police expect to forward their reports to the district attorney for consideration of charges next week.

Police say the men had two adopted children and four foster children in all. Kansas Secretary of Children and Families Phyllis Gilmore said the agency is working with law enforcement on the investigation.

“I am absolutely devastated by this child’s death that should have been prevented,” Gilmore said. “DCF is working closely with local law enforcement and the Sedgwick County District Attorney to ensure that justice is served and that the integrity of the investigation is not compromised by the release of confidential information.”

Gilmore has instructed the state's current foster care contractors, KVC and St. Francis to inspect all foster homes associated with TFI. TFI is a former contractor still allowed to sponsor licensed foster homes. All future placements with TFI are suspended, pending the outcome of the state's investigation.

Previous report on the child's death:
A 10-month-old girl died after reportedly being left in a hot car in south Wichita.

Officers were called just before 7 p.m. to the 1500 block of South Topeka. When they arrived on scene, they found the baby unresponsive in the car. She was pronounced dead a short time later.

Police say the car was sitting in the street outside a home on South Topeka. The child had been in the car for about two hours.

The girl was reportedly the foster child of two men who lived at the home. They were taken in for questioning. No names have been released.

Posted by Melissa Brunner