HOUSTON (KTRK/CNN) - Police say when a Texas father left his two children in the car while shopping for clothes, his 6-year-old daughter allegedly killed her little brother by wrapping a seat belt around the boy’s neck.
Adrian Middleton, 26, faces a child abandonment charge after he turned himself in to Baytown, TX, police Monday afternoon.
According to court records, Middleton left his 6-year-old daughter and 1-year-old son inside a car May 20 while he went shopping at a Houston thrift store.
The 6-year-old told police that while her father was in the store, she was playing with her little brother. She said the boy started crying when she stopped playing with him, so she got angry and allegedly wrapped the seat belt around him.
The 1-year-old stopped crying, and the girl thought he was asleep, according to court documents.
When Middleton returned to the car, he saw the seat belt wrapped around the boy’s neck, called 911 and attempted CPR until the ambulance arrived. The 1-year-old was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
An autopsy ruled the boy’s death was homicide by strangulation.
The father originally told police he left the two children strapped into their car seats when he went into the store, according to court documents. He claimed he was in the store for 30 to 45 minutes and checked on his kids through the store window.
However, police say there were no car seats in the vehicle and surveillance video showed Middleton inside the store for almost two hours, during which time he did not check on the children.
Middleton is charged with abandoning a child. Bond has not yet been set in the case.
The 6-year-old is staying with her grandmother. Police say she will not face charges because of her age.
Child Protective Services has offered to provide assistance to the family.