OS Baby Death Headed To Grand Jury - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

OS Baby Death Headed To Grand Jury

Ocean Springs police say they've found no signs of foul play in the death of a nine-month- old baby girl left in a car for hours. Lexi Sherwood was discovered dead Thursday afternoon inside the family SUV parked outside of an Ocean Springs bank.

On Friday, the coroner ruled the little girl died of hyperthermia or overheating. Authorities say a grand jury will decide if the father should face criminal charges in her death.

Ocean Springs police have impounded the SUV where they say little Lexi Sherwood spent hours in the sweltering heat. The vehicle had been parked outside the bank where her father works.

Deputy Chief Mark Dunston said, "The child's father intended on delivering to the child to day care, but somehow forgot. The child remained in the vehicle all day at the parking lot until it was discovered tragically in the afternoon."

By the time police were called to a Washington Avenue bank Thursday afternoon, it was already too late for Lexie. Investigators say the girl's parents are devastated.

Det. Keith Havard said, "The father and of course the mother, both, are very distraught at this time. We have spoken with them briefly but, like Deputy Chief Dunston said, the investigation is on going."

Investigators say they are still collecting evidence from the SUV where the child was found dead and interviewing witnesses. They say all this information will be presented to the District Attorney.

"As in any investigation where a person, an adult or a child has died in mysterious circumstances, not under a doctor's care, etc...  or where no intent in immediately available to us, we will take that case to the grand jury and let the grand jury will make that decision," said Deputy Chief Dunston.

Ultimately a grand jury will decide whether to file charges but officers say their initial investigation shows this was a tragic accident. Ocean Springs police say the next grand jury is expected to convene in September.

As of right now, no charges have been filed and police are not releasing the father's name. According to the advocacy group Kids In Cars, Lexi is 25th child to die in the U.S. this year after being forgotten in a vehicle.

by Danielle Thomas

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