Investigation continues in death of Mich. toddler left in van - New York News

Investigation continues in death of toddler left in van for hours

Posted: Updated:
James Nelson, 2, was found unresponsive in a minivan Tuesday evening. James Nelson, 2, was found unresponsive in a minivan Tuesday evening.
SHELBY TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WJBK) -

Police say it could be days before charges are filed in the death of 2-year-old James Nelson, if any are filed at all. The Shelby Twp. toddler died after being left inside a minivan for up to 11 hours earlier this week.

Nelson's body temperature -- taken at an area hospital -- was 108 degrees, said Shelby Township Police Chief Roland Woelkers.

An autopsy performed Wednesday listed hyperthermia as contributing to the boy's death. "We'll do a complete investigation and see what we can determine," said Woelkers.

According to state law, a child under the age of six cannot be left alone inside a vehicle, FOX 2's Amy Andrews reports. Andrews says if a child dies inside the vehicle alone, the incident would be considered felony child abuse.

James' body was found about 6 p.m. Tuesday strapped in a child safety seat in the rear of a minivan outside his home in the Dequindre Estates mobile home park in Shelby Township. The van's windows were rolled up. Tuesday's high was about 73 degrees.

He may have been in the van since 7 a.m. Tuesday. His body was found by his mother's roommate later that afternoon.

His mother, 21-year-old Audrionna Rhoades, was at work Tuesday at a medical supply company in Oakland County. The boy often was left in the care of her roommate or Rhoades' parents who live nearby, Woelkers said.

It's unclear who was caring for James on Tuesday and who put him in the child's car seat.

"It could have been a baby sitter, the grandparents or the mother," Woelkers said.

Andrews says James is the 33rd child in the United States to die this year from heat-related injuries after being left inside a vehicle.

Funeral arrangements are still pending.

FOX 2 will continue to update this story throughout the day.

- The Associated Press contributed to this story

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Stuck NJ Transit train removed

    Stuck NJ Transit train removed

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 10:03 AM EDT2014-07-29 14:03:41 GMT
    A New Jersey Transit commuter train that became disabled just outside the Hudson River tunnel in Manhattan on Tuesday has been removed. 1,000 passengers were on board when the Northeast Corridor train became stuck, according to NJ Transit officials. A rescue train was attached to the disabled train and removed to Penn Station about an hour behind schedule. It is not clear what caused the mechanical problem. There are residual delays on NJT trains into and out of Penn Station.
    A New Jersey Transit commuter train that became disabled just outside the Hudson River tunnel in Manhattan on Tuesday has been removed. 1,000 passengers were on board when the Northeast Corridor train became stuck, according to NJ Transit officials. A rescue train was attached to the disabled train and removed to Penn Station about an hour behind schedule. It is not clear what caused the mechanical problem. There are residual delays on NJT trains into and out of Penn Station.
  • The Big Idea

    Making New York City more energy efficient

    Making New York City more energy efficient

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 9:22 AM EDT2014-07-29 13:22:47 GMT
    More than half the population of New York City rides public transportation to work. No other metropolis in this country even approaches that percentage or the MTA's total number of riders. For that reason, New York likely ranks as the most energy-efficient city in the nation. But what would it take to make the city even more energy-efficient or even self-sufficient?
    More than half the population of New York City rides public transportation to work. No other metropolis in this country even approaches that percentage or the MTA's total number of riders. For that reason, New York likely ranks as the most energy-efficient city in the nation. But what would it take to make the city even more energy-efficient or even self-sufficient?
  • 2 U.S. marshals, 1 NYPD detective wounded; fugitive killed in Manhattan

    2 U.S. marshals, 1 NYPD detective wounded; fugitive killed in Manhattan

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 8:27 AM EDT2014-07-29 12:27:36 GMT
    Two deputy U.S. marshals and an NYPD detective are expected to recover after they were seriously wounded in a shootout with a fugitive sexual assault suspect in the West Village in Manhattan, officials said. The shootout happened in smoke shop called Smoking Culture on West 4th Street near Jones Street.


    Two deputy U.S. marshals and an NYPD detective are expected to recover after they were seriously wounded in a shootout with a fugitive sexual assault suspect in the West Village in Manhattan, officials said. The shootout happened in smoke shop called Smoking Culture on West 4th Street near Jones Street.

Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices