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Father won't be charged with leaving son in hot car

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Posted at 4:10 AM, Jul 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-23 04:10:23-04

LANSING, Mich. — Seven-year-old Liam McKenzie was left in the car on Saturday while his dad went into Pure Options.

Two hours later, someone saw Liam in the back seat and called police.

"There’s a million different scenarios that could have happened to my child…that's just unacceptable,” said Abby O’Briant. “On the hottest day of the year."

The father was arrested for child endangerment...but not charged by the Ingham County Prosecutor's Office.

According to Michigan state law, a child has to be six years old or younger and has to be physically harmed for charges to be filed.

"Just because he survived that incident, doesn't mean he wasn't harmed,” said O’Briant. “My son had heat exhaustion. He was sick all night."

On Saturday, temperatures got up to 93 degrees; in that heat, a car can get up to 125 degrees in only 30 minutes.

"It shouldn't be okay to leave your child in the car, no matter what age. Especially if it's hot...that's not okay."

O'Briant says that Liam has sensory issues and that he was in more danger because of them.

"To cut a child off at six without hearing any of the backstory is not okay,” she said. “You're telling me that my child could have been in the car for 24 hours and if he wasn't hurt, that's still okay?"

She says that things could have been much worse and hopes that Liam’s case is the last.

"I just want them to take a second look at this. It could have happened to anyone else's kid, and that's unacceptable. I want to make sure it ends here."

East Lansing Mayor Mark Meadows introduced the law back in 2008 while serving in the State House of Representatives.

He could not be reached for comment.

Since there were no charges, the Prosecutor's Office would not comment on the incident either.

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