A 14-month-old boy remained in critical condition today after his grandfather left him in a car for at least five hours yesterday, when temperatures reached 98 degrees in the Philadelphia region, police said.
Police believe the grandfather, Edward Kanterman, did not realize that he had left the child inside while he went to work. But he will likely face criminal charges, including endangering the welfare of a child, said Marple Township Police Chief Thomas Murray Jr.
"This is a 14-month-old who can do nothing for himself," Murray said. "He depends on the adults that are charged with taking care of him. When an adult does something that endangers that child, that's a problem. . . . This appears to be an accident, a momentary lapse of judgment, but unfortunately the child could do nothing."
Kanterman, 59, picked up his grandson, Nicholas McCorkle, yesterday morning at his daughter's apartment in Drexel Hill. It was a typical routine that Kanterman followed three times a week: pick up his grandson, drop him off at Little Angels of Drexel Hill, and head to work at the CHI Institute, a Delaware County technical school where he works as an instructor, Murray said.
But Kanterman did not drop the child off at day care and proceeded to the institute in Broomall, arriving about 8 a.m., Murray said. It wasn't until Kanterman was finished for the day and returned to his car after 1 p.m. that he noticed the child was still inside.
Nicholas was transported to Bryn Mawr Hospital and later to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, where he remained on a ventilator today, and his condition remained critical, Murray said. A hospital spokeswoman declined to give any information about the child's condition, citing the family's desire for privacy.
Kanterman does not have a history of dementia and did not appear to be disoriented by the heat, Murray said. The Delaware County District Attorney's Office is working on the case and will decide whether to bring charges against Kanterman, Murray said.