Neighbors heartbroken over baby's hot-car death in Sugar Land


by Vicente Arenas / KHOU 11 News

Posted on May 4, 2012 at 6:03 PM

Updated Friday, May 4 at 6:21 PM

SUGAR LAND, Texas – Neighbors were heartbroken Friday after a 7-month-old baby died in a hot car in Sugar Land.

It happened on Thursday, after police said Leland Jacobson took the baby with him when he dropped his two older children off at school.

Jacobson then went to a work conference, and returned home around 2:45 p.m. Around 5 p.m., he said his wife called asking about the baby, and he suddenly remembered the child was in the car.

He ran outside, but it was too late.

The baby was dead.

The temperature reached 89 degrees in Sugar Land on Thursday.

"It was just really sad for the dad and the mom and the siblings. [I’m] heartbroken," neighbor Barbara Rubio said.

"It just really breaks my heart. It makes me wonder if they’re in their right mind to even do that, because I would never leave them – certainly not for that long," parent Erin Cutshell said.

In 2010, 49 children died in hot cars in the U.S.

Companies have even developed devices that can help parents remember their kids. One such device, the ChildMinder System, arms child safety seats with sensors that sound if a parent walks more than 15 feet from the vehicle.

Rubio and her husband have their own system. They always put something like a purse or a backpack right next to their kids.

"He always has to take the backpack out and for whatever reason, if the girls were there, it’s just a reminder," Rubio said.

The case will be referred to the DA’s office to see if any charges will be filed against Jacobson.

"I guess we just all have to slow down and pay better attention, if you are forgetting your kids," parent Amy Durand said.