Name Released of Springdale Boy Who Died in Hot Car
Police say Joniah Darius Chronister is the 2-year-old boy who died after being left in a car in the parking lot of the Springdale Walmart on Friday.
Police also released the names of the boy’s great-grandparents who left him in the car while they were in the store. They are William James Staten, 51, and Margette Inise Staten, 61, both of Springdale, according to police.
Joniah was in the dark-colored Ford Focus with the windows up and no air conditioning for two hours, police said. The great-grandparents told police he was only in the car for 50 minutes.
Police got a 911 call at 4:40 p.m. Friday.
“From what I’ve been told, the windows were not cracked, it looked like the car was sealed up for the entire time,” Springdale police. Lt. Kevin Lewis said from the scene Friday.
“When we had talked to them, they thought they had been in Walmart for 45 minutes [but] through the investigation we had determined that they had been in Walmart for two hours and five minutes,” Lewis said.
When emergency responders arrived, the boy had already been taken out of the car and into the store’s lobby.
EMTs performed CPR before taking the child to Northwest Medical Center in Springdale, where he was pronounced dead.
Rescue crews said the temperature likely rose to 150 degrees inside the Ford Focus.
“Take the element inside a closed vehicle, with no ventilation in 150 degree heat – there’s absolutely no chance for survival,” said Springdale fire Capt. Randy Riley.
It was 102 degrees outside.
When the outside temperature is exceeding 100 degrees, it only takes minutes for someone to die inside a car, they said.
It’s up to the prosecuting attorney whether the great-grandparents are charged with a crime.
Officials said the great-grandparents recently moved to Northwest Arkansas from California. The license plate on their car said it was purchased in Modesto, Calif.
In northeast Arkansas on Friday, another child died inside a hot car. Newport police said they were investigating a child death, after the child was left in a car.
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