Broward County

Mom may not have called 911 right away when she realized she left her son in a hot car

The parking lot at a medical complex in the 2200 block of North University Drive in Pembroke Pines, where a 17-month-old boy died after being left in a car for about eight hours on Friday, July 13, 2018.
The parking lot at a medical complex in the 2200 block of North University Drive in Pembroke Pines, where a 17-month-old boy died after being left in a car for about eight hours on Friday, July 13, 2018. CBS Miami

A new development in the investigation of the death of a 17-month-old toddler who was left in a car suggests his mother might not have called for help when she realized her son had been in the car for the duration of her work day.

According to Miami Herald’s news partner CBS4, a court document says that when the mother, 34-year-old Emily Bird of Fort Lauderdale, realized she had left her son, Eli Bird, in her car as she worked at Memorial Hospital Pembroke on July 13, she didn’t immediately call for help.

A search warrant said Bird, who had worked about eight hours at the hospital as a health coach, drove to Eli’s day care to pick him up but was told he was not there.

He was still buckled into his car seat in the back seat.

When Bird realized she had left her son in the car, she didn’t tell the day care staff or call 911. Instead she gathered her son’s belongings from the center, “re-entered her vehicle where she sits for several minutes and refuses to look in the back seat to check on the welfare” of Eli and drove back to the hospital, according to CBS4.

The 911 call a doctor made after Emily Bird discovered her 17-month-old son, Eli, had been in the car throughout her work shift after she forgot to drop him off at daycare.

Once at the hospital, she told the staff she had left her son in the car and it’s only then that paramedics were called. Despite efforts to save his life, Eli, whose body temperature topped 108 degrees, died.

The Department of Children and Families sent its Critical Incident Rapid Response Team to the scene because there was a report involving the family within the previous 12 months, the Herald reported earlier this month.

Emily Bird and Ian Bird, 35, have another child — a son. The account of the other incident was redacted from DCF’’s incident report, which noted that the Bird family was temporarily living with friends because their house was being tented and “the mother, who had been under a lot of stress, was taking a different route to work.”

Pembroke Pines police are investigating the incident as an aggravated manslaughter of a child.

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