The father of a toddler who died this summer after being left in a hot car at an office parking deck in Goochland County was charged Wednesday with a misdemeanor offense in his son’s death.
Aditya Gondesi, 39, who lives on Sadler Grove Way in western Henrico County, surrendered to the Goochland Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday and was released by a magistrate soon after, Sheriff James Agnew said in a release.
Gondesi was charged in the death of his son, 17-month-old Riaan Gondesi, who died Aug. 8. Agnew previously has said the boy’s father apparently forgot to drop off his son at day care and went to work at the Capital One campus at the West Creek business park.
The boy was left strapped in a car seat inside a 2016 Acura MDX sport utility vehicle for about three hours while the car was parked on the uncovered deck of a parking garage, authorities said.
The child died of hyperthermia, Agnew said in his Wednesday release.
Gondesi was charged under a state statute that’s titled “Causing or encouraging acts rendering children delinquent, abused, etc.”
The law says anyone 18 or older, including the parent of any child, shall be found guilty of the offense if he or she “willfully contributes to, encourages, or causes any act, omission, or condition that renders a child delinquent, in need of services, in need of supervision, or abused or neglected.”
Agnew said Goochland Commonwealth’s Attorney Michael Caudill requested the charge after the sheriff’s office concluded its investigation. Gondesi is set to appear Thursday in Goochland Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court.
Riaan is one of four children to die in Virginia this year after being left in a vehicle.
Just three days after Riaan’s death, a 6-month-old boy died after his mother left him for about five hours in an overheated car outside a Domino’s Pizza in Emporia, where she worked as an assistant manager.
In August, Emporia Police Chief Rick Pinksaw said the mother unintentionally left her child in the car for an “extended period.” He said she arrived for work about 4 p.m. and came out of the restaurant about 9 p.m. and discovered she had left the child in her car.
Pinksaw has not announced any charges in that case.
In May, two 5-month-old Chesterfield County twins, a boy and a girl, died after they were unintentionally left inside their family’s overheated SUV at The Maisonette Apartments off Jefferson Davis Highway, where the family lived, police said.
That case remains under investigation, county police said.
KidsAndCars.org keeps a running tally of deaths of children in cars and, as of Wednesday, the 2018 count nationally stood at 48 — one less than the all-time high of 49 deaths, set in 2010, the organization said.
In 2017, 43 children died in the U.S. as a result of being left in a hot car, the organization said.