Mother Charged in Toddler's Hot-Car Death

Toddler died after being left for several hours in minivan

By Teneille Gibson
|  Wednesday, Jul 6, 2011  |  Updated 8:04 PM EDT
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Bristow Mom Charged in Toddler's Death

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Bristow Mother Free on Bond

Karen Murphy posted $25,000 bond on felony murder and child neglect charges. Her 2-year-old son, Ryan, died of heat exposure after being left in the family minivan for seven hours.

Bristow Mom Charged in Toddler's Death

Prince William County police now believe a case originally thought to be a tragic accident was a crime and a woman who left her child in a hot vehicle is now facing felony charges.
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A Bristow, Va., mother faces felony charges in the death of her 2-year-old son.

Court documents show Karen Murphy left her son, Ryan, in the family's minivan for more than seven hours on June 17, which caused his death.

This was not the first time she had forgotten her son in the vehicle. According to a search warrant, Murphy left her son unattended in the minivan outside work for about 20 minutes, but she got Ryan out after someone from the Kindercare day-care center Ryan attended called Murphy to report he was absent.

Murphy is charged with felony murder and felony child neglect.

She appeard in court on Wednesday and was released on $25,000 bond.  Her next scheduled court date is July 15.

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