What to Know
- Daiquan Fields, 32, faces felony child neglect and involuntary manslaughter charges in the death of the 2-year-old girl.
- Court documents suggest a change in Fields' routine dropping off the 2-year-old and her siblings may have contributed to her death.
- An investigator wrote that when Fields was back in the car, he saw the toddler in the back seat.
The man accused of leaving a 2-year-old girl in a hot car this spring is due in court Tuesday morning.
Daiquan Fields, 32, faces felony child neglect and involuntary manslaughter charges in the death of the little girl.
Investigators say that on April 20, Fields drank a beer and watched television as his girlfriend's toddler sat forgotten in the car in Annandale, Virginia. The child was pronounced dead at a hospital.
Court documents suggest a change in Fields' routine dropping off the 2-year-old and her siblings, who are 10 and 15, may have contributed to the tragedy.
Fields said in an interview with police that he normally dropped the toddler off with a babysitter and then took the two older children to school. But that day, they were running late dropping off the oldest child. Fields dropped off the oldest child first and then the middle child, he told police. Fields then returned to the family's apartment in Annandale, leaving the 2-year-old strapped in her car seat.
A change in routine can contribute to a child being left in a car, Don Goddard of the Fairfax County Police Department said.
"When people get into routines like this, they become accustomed to doing things in an order," he said. "If that routine or habit changes, sometimes it leads to a tragedy."
Fields told police he was home all day, even meeting a housing inspector who stopped by. He drank a beer and watched TV before he left late in the afternoon to pick up the children's mother from her job at the mall in Pentagon City, he told police.
An investigator wrote that when Fields pulled up at the mall and sent a text message to his girlfriend, he saw the toddler in the back seat. The child appeared blue and fluid dripped from her nose, he told police. He called 911 and told the dispatcher he was trying to perform CPR. The toddler was pronounced dead at the hospital.
The temperature April 20 was about 70 degrees, but the toddler had a body temperature of 107 degrees when she was rushed to a hospital, a search warrant said.