Ridgefield toddler identified, community reacts to tragedy

RIDGEFIELD, Conn. (WTNH) — The Ridgefield toddler who died after being left in a hot car has been identified as 15-month-old Benjamin Seitz, police said.

The Hartford Courant is reporting the dad’s name as Kyle Seitz, of 89 Blue Ridge Road in Ridgefield.

When neighbor Patricia Rios learned the identity of Baby Benjamin and his father, her heart is heavy, her house is just up the road from theirs.

“And I think that is the kind of thing that you never think that would happen to you or anyone close to you. But then it happens to a neighbor and you realize that it could happen to anyone,” said Rios.

Police blocked off the driveway of the home. They say to protect the families privacy and refuse to answer any questions about why the father hasn’t been brought up on any charges for allegedly accidentally leaving  his son in the back of his hot car all day, while he went to work.

It’s something this mother of two says she hopes never happens to her.

“We are busy. We are stressed, we are not used to doing certain routines and there is no excuse but at the same time it’s something that you cannot stop thinking about what if. What if?” said Rios.

What if someone had looked into the back of the car and seen little Benjamin and what if Kyle Seitz had called 911 and waited for an ambulance to get on the scene and give the baby medical attention. Instead police say, he drove the baby 20 minutes to Danbury Hospital himself.

“I am devastated with the news. I think everyone is,” said Rios.

As these situations of leaving babies and kids in hot cars keeps coming up, people in the community tell News 8 they want some answers.

It’s an on camera statement that has many people bothered.

“There will be no questions asked,” Ridgefield police said at a press conference.

That was Tuesday afternoon as media outlets and the public were looking for some answers in the death of a 15-month-old boy, who at the time police said was left in a parked car.

“It was determined that the father parked his vehicle at his place of employment in Ridgefield with his son inside,” Ridgefield police Capt. Jeff Kreitz said in a statement.

Wednesday, they finally released the location of the parking lot and the 15-month-old’s name, Benjamin Seitz.

“It’s kind of ridiculous because any other town when this happens it gets all over the news right away. It’s a horrible thing that happened,” said Glenn Thorpe.

Sources told News 8 Tuesday that the boys father meant to take him to daycare on Monday but forgot he was in the car. It wasn’t until he went out to the car at the end of his workday until he realized what he did.

Police won’t confirm exactly how long he was left there.

Police became aware of the situation by Danbury Hospital after the father drove his son there. No 911 calls were received by emergency dispatchers about Seitz.

Other than that, not much more besides the state police major crimes unit and the Danbury state’s attorney’s office are also investigating.

So, News 8’s Erin Logan walked in the police station and asked if we could get some answers about the father and if they anticipated an arrest. Police talked off camera. We were told they’re still interviewing people that may have seen something Monday in the parking lot.

“Why would a person do that and why aren’t police giving us that information,” said Sean Monaghan.

13-year-old Emma Baughman tells News 8 she was left in the car by her mother when she was about a year and a half old and truly feels accidents do happen.

“I don’t think you should be arrested if you truly forgot, I know in some cases people go into the casino and leave their children in the car and I think they should be arrested,” said Baughman.

The Medical Examiner’s Office says it could take four to six weeks to determine the cause of death.

News 8 also reached out to DCF. They confirmed they’ve never dealt with this father before but they too are investigating this case.

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