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Thursday, June 23, 2016
Father desperately tries to save his infant daughter left in hot car by placing her in a refrigerator
When Michael Thedford arrived at the day care Tuesday morning to drop off his three children, he found that the youngest, his 6-month old daughter, Fern Thedford , was a little ill and running a fever. So he dropped off the 5-year-old and the 3-year-old and headed back home in his van with the infant, Fern. When he reached his house in Melissa, Texas, though, he decided he needed a nap and quickly went inside, in his haste, he forgot Fern in the van while he slept for about four hours, according to the arrest warrant obtained by WFAA.
The temperature on that day went as high as 95 degrees.
At 1 p.m., Michael woke up and realized his daughter was still in the car. Panicking, he ran to the van and flung open the door, he found his daughter “stiff” as a board and “hot as a brick.”
She was unresponsive as he carried her little body into the house.
Apparently in an attempt to cool her down, Michael placed his daughter in the refrigerator, among the Thedfords’ groceries, and left her there for “an undetermined length of time,” authorities said.
After a while, he pulled her body from the fridge and attempted to perform CPR. Only then did he call his wife and the authorities, both of whom rushed to the house.
According to a neighbour, the couple hugged and cried together.
The firefighters and paramedics left as soon as they arrived, but the detectives remained behind. They pointed cameras at Michael and asked him to reenact what had happened.
“They used a Mickey Mouse type of doll for him to show what happened,” Fabiola Contreras, the Thedfords’ neighbor, told KDFW. “And now that I think about it, they also were measuring from the van to the door.”
The Thedfords had always seemed like a loving family, the neighbor said. Michael worked as a substitute teacher, and his wife was a well-known local veterinarian. In fact, Contreras had witnessed the family laughing and joking around just a few days prior.
“It’s kind of shocking how this happened because on Sunday we saw family members and them having a good time for Father’s Day,” Contreras said.
Bill Hemby, the assistant superintendent of Celina High School, where Michael taught introductory physics and chemistry last year, said Michael deeply loved his children.
“Michael is rocket-science smart,” Hemby told WFAA. “He did a great job for us while he was here. We all had an understanding of how much he loved his children. We’re all in mourning, just like he is.”
6 month old Fern was dead and her father, Michael has since been charged with manslaughter.