MELISSA, Texas - A father tried to save his baby by putting her in a refrigerator after leaving her in a hot car for hours, authorities said.
Michael Thedford , an unemployed teacher in Melissa, Texas, told investigators he had dropped two of his children, ages 3 and 5, at a daycare center Tuesday while his wife was at work, according KTVT-TV in Dallas-Fort Worth.
The couple’s 6-month-old daughter was in the back of the family minivan, Thedford said.
She did not go to daycare because she was running a fever and had a virus, he told deputies.
He drove home and forgot the baby was strapped in her car seat, Thedford said.
He went inside and went to sleep, waking up some four hours later, he told investigators.
When he realized the baby was not in the house, he ran outside and found her in the van.
She was unresponsive and he rushed her inside and put her in the refrigerator with the door open, he said to authorities.
He called his wife and tried to perform CPR, he said. Then he called 911. Paramedics were unable to resuscitate the baby.
A neighbor across the street watched in horror, the station reported.
“It’s hard to believe, because how can you forget a child in your own car?” said Fabiola Contreras, who saw Thedford and his wife sobbing in the driveway as EMTs took the baby away.
Thedford was charged with manslaughter and released late Tuesday after posting $20,000 in bail. He has not yet been arraigned.
Temperatures in Melissa, which is about 40 miles north of Dallas, were in the 90s on Tuesday.