Police in Hialeah, Fla., are in mourning for two beloved colleagues who died locked in an officer's car. Jimmy, a 7-year-old bloodhound, and Hector, a 4-year-old Belgian Malinois, were left in the back of Officer Nelson Enriquez's SUV all day Wednesday after they finished a midnight shift, the Miami Herald reports. Police say Enriquez, a 13-year veteran of the force, was home by "mid-morning" and called them around 7pm after he discovered the dogs, who had died after hours alone in the hot vehicle in his driveway. Enriquez lived with the dogs and has been their only handler since they were donated to the force, Local 10 reports. Enriquez has been suspended with pay while the deaths are investigated by police in Hialeah and in Davie, where the officer lives.
The dogs "lived in the house with the officer," Hialeah Police Sgt. Carl Zogby tells Local 10. "They're full members of the family. In fact, I'm hearing his children wouldn't go to sleep if the dogs weren't in the house." Zogby tells the Herald that Enriquez, whose shift had lasted a few hours longer than usual because Jimmy was needed in the search for an elderly person, is "extremely distraught." The bloodhound, who was named after murdered 9-year-old Jimmy Ryce, was donated to the department by the Jimmy Ryce Center for Victims of Predatory Abduction, reports the Miami New Times. Ryce's father, who founded the center, says he's "deeply saddened" to hear of the deaths. (Last week, a police dog rescued an ambushed officer in Mississippi.)