Toddler found unresponsive in vehicle dies; father arrested
BY JERRY WOFFORD World Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
11/20/12 at 2:33 PM
TAHLEQUAH -- Tahlequah police are investigating the death of a child found in a parked car Monday night.
Police received a call about 9 p.m. Monday about an 18-month-old girl who was unresponsive at Norris Park in Tahlequah, according to a news release from the Tahlequah Police Department.
Paramedics were administering care when officers arrived and transported her to Tahlequah City Hospital, where the toddler later died, the release states.
Tahlequah police detectives said the child had “an extremely high core temperature” when she was found in the back seat of the car.
Detectives said the child’s father, Cody Butler, 19, told them he was standing outside the vehicle and that it “appears the father had the car running and the heater on,” said Detective Jeff Haney.
Police said Butler noticed the child’s cheeks appeared purple when he removed the child and began CPR.
Butler was arrested on complaints of child neglect or endangerment and second-degree manslaughter, the release states. Formal charges depend on the findings of the investigation and the report from the Medical Examiner’s Office, according to the release.
“This type of tragedy is one of the hardest calls we respond to as law enforcement officers.” Tahlequah Chief of Police Clay Mahaney said. “We feel for the family and strongly remind everyone to never leave a young child unattended for any amount of time.”