Father charged with murder after leaving 2-year-old in car for 16 hours

Baltimore police charge father after he left his 2-year-old in car seat for 16 hours Monday.

A 31-year-old man has been charged in the death of his 2-year-old daughter after police say he left her strapped in her car seat for 16 hours Monday as outside temperatures reached 89 degrees.

Officers found Leasia Carter about 5:15 p.m. Monday in the back of a Lincoln Town Car parked in the Belair-Edison neighborhood, police said in charging documents. She was taken to a local hospital, where she was pronounced dead. She suffered second-degree burns, police said.

Wilbert Leon Carter, 31, of the 3400 block of Juneway in Belair-Edison has been charged with murder. Carter told detectives he had sole custody of his daughter, according to the documents.

He told police he had drinks earlier in the day, and that a friend drove him to his neighborhood from Dundalk early Monday. He told police he thought he had brought the girl home.

Carter woke up about 4 p.m. and asked his mother and aunt where his daughter was, and they told him they thought she was with his sister, the documents said.

Carter then went out to the car and found his daughter inside.

Carter is being held at the Baltimore City Central Booking and Intake Facility. It is unclear from online court records if he has an attorney.

There have been other cases in Maryland in recent years in which children were left unattended in vehicles.

A 55-year-old Baltimore man was charged with involuntary manslaughter after his 16-month-old granddaughter died in a hot truck in July 2013.

The grandfather, Anthony Jerome Towles, was convicted and sentenced last month to probation in the death of Sabriya Towles.

Sabriya's death was ruled accidental by the medical examiner, but investigators determined that she had died after Towels left her in the truck in the 2500 block of S. Paca St. while he took a nap.

On New Year's Eve 2013, a 24-year-old Baltimore woman left her 4-year-old daughter unattended in a car for more than eight hours at the Maryland Live Casino, police said. The toddler, who had wet herself while waiting, was released to her grandmother after a medical examination. The mother, Alicia Brown, was charged with neglect and second-degree child abuse.

She pleaded guilty to reckless endangerment, was sentenced to three years with all but five days suspended and was prohibited from going near a casino or other gambling establishment.

Three days later, a 47-year-old man left his 6-year-old grandson in a minivan in the Arundel Mills mall parking lot as temperatures dipped near freezing, police said. The man, Juan Carlos Calva Diaz, returned with the child's mother three hours later. Diaz was charged with neglect of a minor and confining an unattended child. The boy was cold and hungry but uninjured.

The outcome of Diaz's case could not be determined.

jkanderson@baltsun.com

cmcampbell@baltsun.com

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