A Maryland father faces involuntary manslaughter charges after he left his 17-month-old son in a hot car while he went to work, police say. John Junek dropped his 4-year-old son at preschool Wednesday morning, then drove to Patuxent River Naval Air Station, where he was supposed to drop the toddler at day care, the AP reports. Instead, he proceeded straight to his office on the base around 8:50am, returning to his car around 1pm to drive to a meeting, NBC Washington reports. He cranked up the air conditioning but says he didn't realize his son was still in his rear-facing car seat, according to court documents.
Junek told police his memory was sparked when his wife called later in the afternoon. He found the boy unconscious, having spent six-and-a-half hours inside the car while temperatures outside reached 85 degrees. Junek was charged after emergency responders couldn't revive the boy. He has since been released into his parents' custody. Junek's lead attorney says he believes investigators will see "this was a tragic accident" and "the events do not support criminal charges." If convicted, he could face eight years in prison. Meanwhile, another dad could face the death penalty after leaving his son in a hot car. (Read more child left in hot car stories.)