Texas Father Charged in Baby's Hot-Car Death Placed Her in Refrigerator, Court Documents State

Michael Thedford, 33, was arrested and charged with manslaughter.

ByABC News
June 22, 2016, 7:26 AM

— -- The Texas man who was arrested Tuesday in the death of his infant daughter, whom he had allegedly left in a hot car for about four hours, then placed her in his refrigerator and attempted to perform CPR before officials arrived to declare the child dead, according to court documents.

Deputies were alerted at about 1:30 p.m. Tuesday that a 6-month-old infant was unresponsive at a home in Melissa, which is roughly 40 miles north of Dallas, according to the Collin County Sheriff's Office.

The father, Michael Thedford, told police he had returned home with the child in the back seat of the family's 2016 Honda Odyssey around 9 a.m. Tuesday morning after dropping off his other two children, ages 5 and 3, at day care, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Thedford had forgotten about the baby and went inside to sleep, he told police.

Thedford, 33, awoke about four hours later, around 1 p.m., and realized he had left the child in the car and found her unresponsive when he removed her from the car seat, court documents stated. He then brought the 6-month-old into the house and placed her into the refrigerator for an undisclosed amount of time before calling 911, according to the affidavit.

Prior to first responders’ arriving to the home, Thedford placed the child on the kitchen floor and attempted to administer CPR on her, the affidavit says. The child was on the kitchen floor when police arrived, and she was pronounced dead at the scene.

Thedford was arrested and charged with manslaughter after he was questioned by authorities. Prior to questioning, Thedford was informed that he was not under arrest, to which he allegedly responded something to the effect of, "That's going to change," according to the affidavit.

He was released on $20,000 bond Tuesday, and it’s unclear whether Medford has obtained a lawyer or entered a plea.

Thedford informed police that he is an unemployed high school teacher and that his wife of 12 years works as a veterinarian in Plano, Texas. He told police that the day started with his 3-year-old daughter’s waking him up after 7 a.m. Tuesday, at which point he began getting the children dressed for day care, the affidavit stated. His wife had already left for work, and Thedford did not plan to take the 6-month-old to day care because she had been running a fever, according to the affidavit.

The baby was seated in the middle row of the car on the passenger side. She was dressed in long sleeves and footed pajama bottoms in order to sweat out the fever, the affidavit stated.

The ambient temperature in McKinney, Texas, about 10 miles away, was 91 degrees Fahrenheit at noon that day, according to the affidavit.

The cause of the child's death is under investigation. The Collin County Medical Examiner's office did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment.