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Second Child In Hot Car Dies, Parents Charged

August 23, 1987

HOMER CITY, Pa. (AP) _ An Indiana couple who left their children in a closed car in the hot sun were charged with involuntary manslaughter Saturday after both the children died.

John Shields, 23, and his wife, Lisa, 19, were arraigned before Homer City Magistrate Michael Steffee on charges of involuntary manslaughter and endangering the welfare of children, said state police Trooper John Sokol.

Both were jailed.

Calvin James Shields, 1, and Kristle Lynn Shields, 2, apparently were left in the car for five hours Friday as the air temperature rose into the 80s under partly sunny skies.

Kristle, who would have been 3 years old Aug. 31, died around 9:30 a.m. Saturday at Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh, said nursing supervisor Betsy Gribik.

Calvin was dead and Kristle was gasping for breath when Mrs. Shields returned to the car Friday afternoon, said Indiana County Deputy Coroner Michael Baker. The boy died of heat exposure and dehydration.

In Allegheny County, where Kristle died, Coroner Joshua Perper said the girl had a temperature of 107 and apparently died of excessive heat. Other factors have not been ruled out, and the cause and manner of death are still under investigation, he said.

State police said the car was parked outside a farmhouse off local Route 420 in Center Township.

Sokol told reporters the couple was driving through the area for several hours when they decided to visit a friend renting the farmhouse from relatives of the Shields’.

The parents left the car sometime Friday morning and fell asleep in the house, Sokol said.

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