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Derrick Holmon, 5-Year-Old Michigan Boy With Down Syndrome, Found Dead in Neighbor's Hot Car

By Allie Goolrick
Published: July 13, 2014

The Times Herald

5-year-old Derrick Holmon suffered from Down Syndrome.

A 5-year-old Michigan boy with Down Syndrome was found dead inside a neighbor’s sweltering vehicle on Friday, according to the Detroit Free Press. Derrick Holmon's body was found in a vehicle in Port Huron about seven hours after family members reported him missing.

Police believe that the boy was trapped in the vehicle by accident and overcome with heat. The car’s owners weren’t at home.

(INTERACTIVE: Hot Car Deaths in the U.S. in 2014)

"Temperatures were in the upper 70s during the day in Port Huron with a high of 77 degrees," says weather.com meteorologist Chrissy Warrilow. 

At least 60 law enforcement officers, along with a helicopter and police dogs, joined the search for the boy after an Amber Alert was issued, ABC 7 reports. 

“I want to thank everybody for looking for my baby; he’s in a better place,” Jennifer Miller, Derrick’s mother, told people at the scene after her son was found.

Derrick, nicknamed Little D, was last seen playing at home on Friday morning around 8:30 a.m. The boy was found lying face down on floorboards in the back seat of the car at 5:53 p.m., the Times Herald reports. Family members believe Derrick may have opened the car’s door by himself, and that his death was a tragic accident. 

“This could be a terrible accident, and that’s what they’re explaining to us,” Don McCullough, Derrick’s grandfather, told the Free Press. 

Police Capt. Jeff Baker told the Times Herald in Port Huron that the boy likely succumbed to the heat, though the official cause of death has not been identified. 

"It's heartbreaking for it to end this way,” Baker said.

MORE: Hot Cars Can Be Deadly


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