Boy, 5, dies in car trunk |

Boy, 5, dies in car trunk

A 5-year-old boy from Swansboro, Calif., a town just north of Placerville, was found dead Friday in the trunk of his father’s car.

During the three hours the boy was missing, his parents scoured their home and neighborhood. The father then drove to the Swansboro Fire Department where he called 911 to alert deputies that his son was missing.

Back at home waiting for authorities to arrive, the father decided to check the trunk of his car and found his son’s body.

The last time the parents had seen their son was during a group nap they took together. The father woke up at 2 p.m. and began looking for the boy. He was found sometime after 5 p.m.

“There was no foul play,” El Dorado County Sheriff’s Capt. Mark Getchel said. “We’re ruling it accidental.”

The pathologist ruled the boy died from hyperthermia, which means someone has been exposed to excessive heat.

“Given the heat of the day, the pathologist figures it could have been as soon as 20 minutes,” Getchel said.

The father’s car, a 1986 Nissan Maxima, is equipped with backseats that drop down and provide an entrance into the trunk. Once the seat is brought back up, it locks from the inside.

Getchel said the boy’s parents remember a time when their son climbed into the trunk through the backseat looking for a game his grandfather had given him.

“Certainly we’ve dealt with tragic deaths that were accidental,” Getchel said, “but I don’t recall someone being trapped in the trunk. It’s certainly not the first place I’d look for a missing child.”

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User