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Published On: Fri, Aug 30th, 2019

Kentucky coroner identify Valen Hakizimana as the dead newborn, left in a hot car

Lexington police continue to investigate the death of the newborn boy, Valen Hakizimana found dead Thursday night after being left in a hot car for several hours.

The Fayette County Coroner’s Office identified the 2-month-old boy found dead after a family member unintentionally left the child in a car for several hours Thursday. The high temperature in Lexington on Thursday was 84 degrees.

photo/ Gerd Altmann via pixabay

Police arrived to the home on the 1800 block of Barksdale Drive, which is in the Winburn area off Russell Cave Road, around 7:30 p.m. Thursday after learning the newborn had died.

The coroner confirmed the cause of death was hyperthermia, that is exposure to high temperatures.

“This is one of those things that as a department we hate to investigate,” Sgt. Donnell Gordon said.

“We have to do our job, and for anyone involved — the detectives, officers on scene, firemen, emergency care guys — it’s one of those cases that stick with you for your entire career.”

Officials have not stated if there will be a criminal investigation at this point.
Police did not indicate which family member was caring for Valen at that time.

According to Kentucky law, a person may be charged with second-degree manslaughter if he or she wantonly causes the death of a child younger than 8 by leaving the child in a vehicle. Second-degree manslaughter is a Class C felony.

Valen is the second child to die in a hot car this year in Kentucky and the 38th to die nationally this year, according to KidsAndCars.org. Kentucky has had 27 child hot car deaths since 1993, which is the tenth-most in the country.

photo Scott Davidson

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About the Author

- Catherine "Kaye" Wonderhouse, a proud descendant of the Wunderhaus family is the Colorado Correspondent who will add more coverage, interviews and reports from this midwest area.

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