LOCAL L.A. Now

Baby died in SUV while neighbors worked just a few feet away

The San Jose baby that was found dead hours after a distracted father accidentally left the child strapped in an SUV was just a few feet from where neighbors said they were working on a car and damaged sidewalk.

The father, who authorities have not identified, had parked his car Wednesday morning on Payne Avenue with the 9-month-old strapped in a car seat and went about his workday until he came back to find the baby about 7:15 p.m., authorities said. The baby was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police said the man was supposed to take the child to a babysitter on the way to work but forgot.

Neighbors described feelings of anguish and guilt over the tragedy, telling KTVU-TV that even though they had been working just a few feet away they heard nothing from inside the SUV.

The SUV had tinted windows, one man added.

"I feel so bad," Yousif Nimjeh said. "It's difficult because the windows were tinted. That's the main reason. But the baby wasn't fussing or crying. Otherwise we would have heard him."

Santa Clara County coroner’s officials have declined to reveal any details about the child, including whether it was a boy or girl. No arrests have been made as prosecutors consider whether to file charges against the father, whom neighbors described as despondent after making the discovery.

The reported high that day was 79 degrees.

"He was crying and grieving and all he could say was 'the baby, the baby,' " Nimjeh told KTVU.

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