Investigation continues in death of Mich. toddler left in van

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>>

  • Attorney wants investigation of city clerk over Arab-American voter suppression

    Attorney wants investigation of city clerk over Arab-American voter suppression

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 11:43 PM EDT2014-07-30 03:43:20 GMT
    It is the tale of two cities. one paints a picture of a meticulous Dearborn Heights city clerk, following the law and fighting for a fair election. The other a story of abuse of power, mishandled ballots and voter suppression.Fatima Abdrabboh is an attorney and Michigan's director of the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee the largest chapter in the country. She is calling for a full-scale investigation into claims that Walter Prusiewicz mishandled ballots from Arab-American voters fo...
    It is the tale of two cities. one paints a picture of a meticulous Dearborn Heights city clerk, following the law and fighting for a fair election. The other a story of abuse of power, mishandled ballots and voter suppression.Fatima Abdrabboh is an attorney and Michigan's director of the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee the largest chapter in the country. She is calling for a full-scale investigation into claims that Walter Prusiewicz mishandled ballots from Arab-American voters fo...
  • Warren grandparents upset after grandchildren see racist graffiti at park

    Warren grandparents upset after grandchildren see racist graffiti at park

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 11:15 PM EDT2014-07-30 03:15:40 GMT
    Tuesday afternoon Bruce and Lubertha Callaway took their grandchildren to Shaw Park in Warren when they saw something they couldn't believe.
    Tuesday afternoon Bruce and Lubertha Callaway took their grandchildren to Shaw Park in Warren when they saw something they couldn't believe.
  • 3-year-old shocked, downed power lines electrify fence

    3-year-old shocked, downed power lines electrify fence

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 10:51 PM EDT2014-07-30 02:51:19 GMT
    A 3-year-old boy is in the hospital after getting shocked by an electrical charge.
    A 3-year-old boy is in the hospital after getting shocked by an electrical charge.
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