1-year-old baby girl dies after being left locked in car; father arrested
A one-year-old baby girl died after being left locked inside a vehicle in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States while her father has since been arrested on child abuse charges.
Sidney Deal, the 27-year-old father, was said to have flagged down a patrol vehicle to seek help, as per Las Vegas Review-Journal on Oct. 5.
Deal told police that he was locked outside of his car while his daughter, Sayah, was left inside. Witnesses told police that they had been trying to open the car door with a hanger while Deal called for a tow truck company for help.
In a follow-up report on Oct. 6, police detailed that Deal was arrested after they finished interviewing his brother and girlfriend Mariah Coleman, whose offers to save Sayah were rejected by Deal.
When police were flagged by Deal for help, he also initially rejected their offers to break the windows, stating that he just needed to call his brother. The brother told police that during the call, Deal asked him for their mother’s insurance information and noted that the car’s air conditioning unit was running, suggesting his daughter would be safe.
When the brother arrived at the scene, he “immediately took his shirt off, wrapped it around his knuckles and was ready to punch the window,” the news outlet said, citing a police report.
But Deal stopped his brother and noted that they should just wait for the tow truck and “insisted he not damage his new vehicle, stating he had just bought the car and did not have the money to repair a broken window.”
Deal’s girlfriend meanwhile told police that she spent over 20 minutes talking to a locksmith, but Deal ultimately rejected the services because the price was apparently too expensive.
Around an hour later, police decided to break the window to get Sayah, whose body was already in rigor mortis at the time. Officers waited that long because Deal was insistent in not damaging his car. They stated that they could still see Sayah breathing when they arrived at the scene, the report said.
Deal also told officers that he thought his child will be okay because air conditioning was on and admitted that he thought she just fell asleep when she lied down on the car’s backseat floor.
One Darius Jones, a neighbor of Deal’s girlfriend, noted that Sayah’s death was a “tragic accident” and that Deal had always seemed like a good father.
Jones also claimed that while he was not at the scene, he was on a video call with his sister and mother who was there and saw that Deal was actually asking police to break the window.
“He [Deal] even tried [to break the window]; they told him no,” he was quoted as saying. Ian Biong/JB