Editor’s note: The Smyrna Police Department initially reported the suspect’s name incorrectly. The story now has the correct name, according to the SPD and the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office.
The father of a 3-year-old boy who died in a hot car Thursday has been charged with Aggravated Child Abuse and Neglect, the Smyrna Police Department says.
Dylan Scott Levesque, 23, father of Daylin Palmer, 3, was charged with the Class A felony after investigation by Smyrna Police detectives with the assistance of the Rutherford County District Attorney’s office, the SPD said.
The Rutherford County Ambulance Service and the Smyrna Police had responded to 707 Windbirch Trail, the father’s home, for an unresponsive child shortly before 5 p.m., where they discovered Daylin had succumbed to heatstroke, the SPD said. Police said they determined that Daylin had been left in an unattended vehicle for approximately two hours.
Levesque had bond set at $50,000. His court date is July 15 at 9 a.m. The case remains an active investigation.
After crimes punishable by death or life imprisonment, class A felonies are the most serious felonies in Tennessee. They are punishable by 15 to 60 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000.
Small children left in hot vehicles are extremely vulnerable to death by heatstroke, with the Smyrna case making for 20 deaths nationwide this year alone, according to advocacy group Kids and Cars. The inside of a vehicle heats up very quickly. The temperature inside a vehicle can reach 125 degrees in minutes, with 80 percent of the temperature increase happening in the first 10 minutes.