Ridgefield boy’s hot car death a ‘homicide’

Benjamin Seitz died July 7, 2014, when he was left in a hot car in Ridgefield.

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — The death of a Ridgefield boy who was found dead in a hot car in July has been ruled a homicide by the medical examiner’s office, WTNH News 8 has learned. It is not immediately clear whether charges will be filed against the boy’s father.

The death certificate for 15-month-old Benjamin Seitz reads “left in hot car.”

Seitz was left in the car July 7 when his father, Kyle Seitz, went to work and did not drop the child off at his day care. After finding the child in the hot car, the father drove the child to Danbury Hospital, where the child was pronounced dead.

The Danbury State’s Attorney’s Office said their investigation into what happened “is not over.”

ORIGINAL STORY: Child dies in hot car in Ridgefield 

Benjamin Seitz sits on the shoulders of his father Kyle Seitz. Benjamin died July 7, 2014, when he was left in a hot car in Ridgefield.
Benjamin Seitz sits on the shoulders of his father Kyle Seitz. Benjamin died July 7, 2014, when he was left in a hot car in Ridgefield.

Chief Medical Examiner Dr. James Gill told News 8 the autopsy, which was completed last week, ruled the cause of death as ‘hyperthermia due to environmental exposure,’ and the manner of death a homicide. The medical examiner said he can’t get into how long Benjamin Seitz was left in the car.

STATISTICS: Child Heatstroke Deaths in US

Now, it’s up to State Attorney Stephen Sedensky to decide whether or not charges will be filed. Sedensky declined an on-camera interview but said autopsy results are one factor they look into when deciding about charges.  He said he’s looking into the police investigation and the state Department of Child of Families investigation.

Ridgefield police said they’re continuing to investigate the death and declined an on-camera interview as well. Public Information Officer Jeff Kreitz said, “After speaking with the Danbury State’s Attorney’s Office we were asked not to comment further on this case due to the fact that the investigation is ongoing.”

RELATED: Woman forgives husband who left son in hot car

In an interview with the Associated Press three weeks after the death, the child’s mother Lindsey Rogers-Seitz said she loves and forgives her husband. “Of course I forgive him. But it doesn’t mean that our lives aren’t different now,” she said.

Meanwhile, Benjamin’s mother has a website www.thegiftofben.com honoring her son. She’s working to prevent another tragedy like this from happening to another family. On the site, she writes to her son saying, “You lived to teach us adults how to live. That time is precious. To smile; laugh; love. The Gift of Ben.”

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