It’s come to be one of the tragic harbingers of spring, children dying from heatstroke after being left in hot cars by their parents. On April 21, James Koryor, 41, a father from West Phoenix, Arizona, was arrested and charged with child abuse and manslaughter “after police said he left his toddler son in a hot car during a day of heavy drinking,” according to an Associated Press report shared by ABC News. Dead is two-year-old Alpha Koryor who made a fatal car ride with his father to a local liquor store.
Police said that with temperatures in Phoenix topping 90 degrees Fahrenheit, Koryor slugged down a bottle of gin on his way home from the liquor store and passed out inside his home afterwards, forgetting all about his toddler son still strapped in to his car seat. With 90 degree temperatures outside, The Arizona Republic reported that “the car’s interior could have climbed over 100 degrees within 10 minutes.” Police also said that “detectives found signs the child had struggled to get out of the vehicle before dying,” according to the AP report.
The now distraught dad made his initial court appearance yesterday where he appeared without a lawyer. The presiding judge set Koryor’s bail at $50,000 and assigned a court appointed public defender.
A sobbing Koryor told the judge he didn’t have money to post bond. He struggled to keep his composure, and at one point the judge offered him a box of tissues as he sobbed.
Prosecutors argued for higher bail, saying Koryor has extensive ties to Liberia, Ivory Coast and Ghana and could flee. ~ ABC News
The judge informed Koryor that if and when he does manage to make bail that his boozing days are over. The judge said that for the sake of his family’s safety, and for his own safety, he can no longer drink alcohol and there must not be any alcohol available anywhere he resides.
Another of Koryor’s children, a five-year-old son, who also went along on that fatal liquor store drive, lived to talk about it. Sgt. Trent Crump with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office said that the five year old either exited his dad’s car on his own or went inside with his father after the drive.
When other family members inside the house asked the toddler’s older brother where his baby brother was, the five year old stated that his little brother was sleeping. It wasn’t until hours later that the toddler’s mother found the two year old in the back seat of the family car.
The baby was unconscious but still alive when the mom found him. The baby was transported to Phoenix Children’s Hospital where he died, according to CBS News. This is the first reported child hot car death in the U.S. for 2015.