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UPDATE: Toddler died in car due to 'excessive heat', preliminary autopsy report states

Photo Courtesy: Bryan Smoke

UPDATE (7/27 6:15 p.m.):

Scott Ellington of Jonesboro has been assigned as special prosecutor in this case, according to Bob McMahan, Executive Director of the Prosecutor Coordinator's Office.

UPDATE (7/27 4:00 p.m.):

A preliminary autopsy performed on 18-month-old Thomas Naramore "unofficially ruled" the toddler's death was caused by excessive heat, according to a press release from the Hot Springs Police Department. The Arkansas State Crime Lab doesn't expect an official cause of death until toxicology reports are concluded, which they expect in the next few weeks.

Hot Springs police also say their preliminary investigation indicates the child was left unattended in a hot car for an undetermined amount of time.

Police confirm the person who made the 911 call was the little boy's father, Wade Naramore. Police say Naramore and his wife, as well as numerous friends and family members, voluntarily went to the police department to be interviewed. Naramore was questioned then released, pending the ongoing investigation.

Investigators say they are interviewing potential witnesses and attempting to locate any video surveillance, as well as reviewing 911 calls and police dash camera video.

The prosecutor's office says it is intending to seek assistance from a special prosecutor from another jurisdiction within the state for this case.

UPDATE (7/27 1:25 p.m.):

A family member of the Naramore family released the following statement to the Hot Springs Sentinel Record:

"On behalf of the Naramore and Wright families, they would like to express heartfelt gratitude for the outpouring of love and support they have received in the wake of this tragic accident. They ask for the community's continued prayers and for respect of their privacy in the coming days," the statement read.

Investigators are expected to get results Monday from a preliminary autopsy.

UPDATE (7/25 10:00 p.m.):

According to Hot Springs police no suspects have been named and no arrests have been made. However, KATV is confirming through multiple sources close to the investigation that the victim is 18-month-old Thomas Naramore, the child of Circuit Court Judge Wade Naramore.

The toddler was found dead Friday afternoon, and many wondering how something like this can happen.

"Set up precautions, just be careful," Captain Jason Weaver with the Little Rock Fire Department said. He told Channel 7 every summer they respond to heat related calls whether it be pets, elderly or children.

"Everybody's patterns change because the children are out of school and some of the moms and dads aren't used to having the children with them. They're used taking them to school and dropping them off and now they're carrying them around with them," Weaver said.

This may explain why Hot Springs police responded to that call Friday afternoon. Authorities said it may be a heat related incident in which the child was left in the vehicle. That day Hot Springs temperatures reached a high of 101 degrees.

"Temperatures inside the vehicles on a sunny day increases really rapid and it gets really hot inside those cars," Weaver said.

We wanted to test out the temperatures for ourselves. It was 93 degrees outside with an overcast and breeze Saturday afternoon.

The temperature inside the KATV car was 104 degrees according to the fire station's thermal camera. A car at the fire station that had been sitting in the sun all day was 136 degrees.

"It can jump 20 to 30 degrees within the first ten minutes of being in the sun," Weaver said.

Captain Weaver recommends leaving something important like a wallet, cell phone, or purse in the back seat by your child. That way whenever you're getting out to go somewhere, you can't forget to get the child out.

According to a study done by San Jose State University, this is the first possible child heat stroke related death in the state of Arkansas this year and the 11th in the nation.

The body is being sent to the Arkansas State Crime Lab to determine the cause of death. We learned Saturday, an autopsy is expected to be performed Sunday morning.

UPDATE (7/25 6:00 p.m.):

KATV is confirming with multiple sources close to the investigation that the victim, 18-month-old Thomas Naramore, is the child of Circuit Court Judge Wade Naramore.

ORIGINAL STORY (7/24 5:40 p.m.):

Authorities are investigating after a 2-year-old was found dead in a hot car outside a home in Hot Springs Friday afternoon.

Hot Springs PD officers and Lifenet-Emergency Medical Services were called just before 3:15 p.m. Friday about a 911 call of an unresponsive child in the 100 block of Fair Oaks.

First responders began resuscitation efforts on the child, but those were unsuccessful.

Police say their preliminary investigation found this may be a heat related incident, in which the 2-year-old was left in a vehicle.

Police will continue to investigate. The toddler's body will be sent to the State Crime Lab to determine the cause of death.

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