Update: Strangers donate thousands to Hurricane family after baby dies in hot car

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Suwyn family photograph.

UPDATE: Family, friends and strangers have raised tens of thousands of dollars for a Hurricane family after their 11-month-old baby died while left in a hot car last week.

The original $8,000 goal was raised to $12,000 after donations exceeded the goal in just the first day.

As of Monday afternoon, people have donated just over $14,000 of the $18,000 goal.

HURRICANE, Utah — Friends, family and neighbors have launched a fundraising effort to help the family of an 11-month-old girl who died after being left alone in a car in Hurricane on Friday.

The car was parked on a residential road near N. Main St. and 300 N., when a family member noticed the baby inside around 1 p.m.

Friends identified the girl as Skyah Suwyn, and Hurricane Police Department officials later confirmed the victim’s identity.

“We love the Suwyn family, and we are coming together during a tragic time of losing beautiful baby Skyah to show our love for them as friends, family, and community,” said a message posted on a GoFundMe page established to help the Suwyn family. A similar message was also posted on a Facebook page.

April Suwyn, Skyah Suwyn

April Suwyn, Skyah Suwyn

At the time of the baby’s death, the outside temperature in Hurricane was about 93 degrees, according the National Weather Service. However, temperatures inside a car with no air conditioning and the windows rolled up can exceed 140 degrees, according to many experts.

“It’s very difficult for the officers to deal with as well as the dispatchers as well as the family,” said Sgt. Brandon Buell with the Hurricane Police Department. “There were some people in the area there who had seen the child was in the vehicle and there was no forced entry that had to be made.”

When police arrived they say the infant was not breathing and unresponsive.

“Most of the streets are asphalt, so you got the heat coming off the road as well as the sun coming through the windows, so it can get hot very quickly,” Buell said.

A Life Flight helicopter landed at Hurricane Middle School. The girl was then transported to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead. It was not immediately known how long the baby was left in the car.

“We determined that it was a substantial amount of time, and that’s a part of the investigation we are still trying to determine,” Buell said. “We have to be very cautious about leaving anything, kids, pets, in a vehicle like that because it doesn’t take very long at all. Within minutes that temperature can raise substantially.”

Officials said this is the first child in Utah to die this year due to being left in a hot car, and this is the 20th such death to occur in the United States this year.

As of Saturday, no criminal charges had been filed in this case.


  • Trish Ramirez

    Cue all of the people feeling bad for the negligent parents and saying that they’ve already suffered enough.
    We’re talking an 11 month old. Likely strapped into a carseat and unable to move. Her ‘parents’ (or whomever was responsible for her care – maybe she was with a family member or babysitter or whatever) should be being loaded into a police car immediately and charged with child abuse negligence NOW, and likely child abuse homicide in the near future, as these types of heat-related injuries are not easily treated.

    Horrible and sickening.

    • Cassey Duffy

      I completely agree. I hope they do not go light on the charges to bring justice for the little girl that just lost her life because of someone’s carelessness.

    • Bob

      Are you sure you want the evil police to take her? Isn’t it unfair when police arrest people? Those are you words…

      • Trish Ramirez

        I’m pretty sure that I’ve never used the words ‘fair’ or ‘unfair’ with regard to police. I have referred to ‘Constitutional’ and ‘Unconstitutional.’

        When the state uses police to trample on the Constitutional rights of private citizens, I absolutely have a problem with it, and won’t apologize for that.

        I also won’t apologize for believing that cops should be held to a HIGHER standard of personal and legal conduct than the average citizen – you know, as they are supposed to be enforcing laws on people, they should be the first following them without exception.

        This, however, is a case of a non-arbitrary law being broken in such a manner that it resulted in the death of a child – not even a toddler yet.

        Yeah, I believe the cops should do what they are getting paid to do and that the legal system should do what it was designed to do. This little girl lost her life as the result of negligence, and she deserves justice.

      • Bob

        What if that person tries to run? Are they not suppose to do their job then and not stop a criminal? You cannot bash cops and then call upon them when you want them…

      • Trish Ramirez

        I’m pretty sure the Constitution protects my right to run from the cops.
        (Indeed, I’ve read the Constitution repeatedly and nowhere does it say that someone accused of a crime can be shot in the back. I believe its Amendments are most specific about the fact that we are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, having been judged by an impartial jury of our peers. And that even upon conviction we cannot be punished in a cruel and unusual fashion. )
        Indeed, these negligent parents have every right to pack up and run from the cops. They have the right to a fair trial. I’m not asking for them to be lynched. I believe they should be charged within the parameters of the law.
        Just as I believe that our laws should be reflective of our Constitutional rights and not infringe upon them.
        I don’t believe there’s anything contradictory about my position, and I’m fairly sure that I’ve made myself perfectly clear on a number of occasions.
        YOU are the one who can’t seem to grasp that a person doesn’t lose their Constitutional rights simply because some cop decides he or she wants to take them away.
        Our legal system is a great thing when it is used as it was designed and intended – unfortunately, that is rarely the case.

      • Lee

        Bob, don’t be a bigot! This had nothing to do with religion, race, gender, sexuality or any other group of people. Your comment is ignorant and demonstrates your complete lack of character.

    • Download BimBa so this doesn't happen to you!

      Hi Trish. As someone who is closely familiar with the issue at hand, I can honestly tell you that the parents feel bad enough as is. Do not assume that this baby was left in the car on purpose. It has been scientifically proven that such forgetfulness happens and is part of the brains tricks. I work with a company that has an application called BimBa that alerts parents when they get in and out of the car and sends SMS notifications within 1-4 minutes of a baby being left in the car. Not having this application IS irresponsible because it can save lives. Forgetting a baby in a car is heartbreaking but it is not malicious. Download BimBa for Android here: bit.ly/DownloadBimBa (iPhone and Windows coming soon)

      • mckenzifer

        It IS MALICIOUS!!!!! YOU CAN’T TELL ME THAT’S NOT A MALICIOUS WAY TO DIE!!! I guarantee they forget their wallet or phone!! The people saying this is understandable I also guarantee would think a story about parents forgetting their children were home, and left them there for the same time period would say they were neglectful.

  • Barbara Larsen

    Some people don’t take time to listen or just are clueless with stuff on their minds. That app should be on all phones to alert that “I am missing some one ” Get a clue people.

    • Trish Ramirez

      I agree that if there are tools available to prevent these horrible things from happening, they should be utilized to the fullest. That being said, I believe that the PROBLEM is all of the apps. People pay more attention to their phones than their kids. I guarantee that the person who ‘forgot’ this child in the car didn’t forget their phone. That’s disgusting, and that’s the new normal.

      I am completely the opposite LOL – I have lost more phones and sets of keys than you can imagine.

      Never ONCE have I forgotten about a child in my care, whether they were my own or not.

      It’s a culture that is more dedicated to stuff than people.

      We live in a world in which people are more concerned about their property than their children, where material things and corporations have been elevated to human status and where people are expendable, and children who distract from time spent networking an ‘annoyance’ or – like in this case – something to be disregarded completely.

      • Trish Ramirez

        I’m an excellent mom and caregiver.
        And I’m not a criminal lover so much as a Constitution lover and a lover of human rights.
        The real criminals in this nation are those who would take away the basic and fundamental human rights guaranteed by the Constitution, and those who would protect and encourage them.
        Quit being a whiny child and demanding more ridiculous and arbitrary legislation all of the time.
        “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin

      • curious

        Do you remember the man who left his 2 year old son in the truck while deer hunting a few years back? The little boy got out and froze to death. They prosecuted the father. Is this different? Just wondering. ..

  • c

    These stories make me absolutely ill. So many of these incidents have been in the news lately and it makes me physically ill to think of what these little ones have gone through because of being “forgotten”. I have a 22 month old daughter and I think about her constantly. It would kill me if anyone EVER left her in a car by herself and anything happened to her. I can’t stand it when my husband puts her in her car seat then runs back into the house for something “real quick”. I don’t like it. She’s the LAST one I put in the car, and the FIRST one I take out.
    I won’t even let my 7 or 11 year old kids sit in the car and “wait” for us to load up. They have to wait outside the car if we’re still loading things into it. And we tell them exactly why they aren’t allowed to sit in the car and wait. It’s just too hot, even with the doors/windows open.

  • ash

    I live in hurricane utah and happen to know this family and had the chance to play with this beautiful baby a few weeks ago at
    the splash pad near my house. The mothers father was my primary teacher and also was my co english teacher in high school. They were great ppl. Never judgemental or. Rude. Instead of pointing fingers and saying hateful crude things about this family who u dont know and guess what happened, show this baby girl some respect her parents loved her. And as a mother of 3 yes it makes me sick when something like this happens cause I cant imagine forgetting my child or losing one of them in this tragic way but no one and I mean no one is perfect i have no clue how u can forget ur baby in the car, the fact is it happened andsaying horrible things wont bring the baby back.

    • John

      No one is perfect!? Are you kidding me!? MY GOD! Ash, I don’t care if they are great LDS, Primary teacher, Mayor, President or homeless. Whoever left this helpless child in the car was negligent and killed this innocent baby. I will not respect any person who leaves a baby in a car to die. This is homicide, Put who did this away for life.

    • Mica Udell Medford

      Ash, I’m sure they are suffering from this. I’m assuming they’re good people and good parents. However, it is negligent homicide of a child, according to the law. That’s what happens when we “forget” about our children. I would be devastated myself, if I were to forget my grand child was with me, even if nothing happened. However, I would still be guilty of negligent child abuse for leaving a child under nine in a car alone for any reason, under the law. Whoever forgot that child IS guilty of negligent homicide of a child, as would be proven in a court of law. Why they haven’t been charged based on evidence of a crime, is beyond me. CHILDREN MUST COME FIRST IN OUR LIVES AND IN OUR SOCIETY. And they aren’t. No excuses. Even for good people. No app is needed!

  • Un

    I wonder how many of these “parents” ever, EVER forget their I-phones in their cars? I’m guessing NEVER.

  • jewlzzz

    bob. shut your hole you woman hating nutless wonder, why don’t you find someone else to attack like your momma for not leaving your A.S.S. in a hot car for however long it would take…

  • jewlzzz

    OK bob, I apologize. Everyone leave bob alone he’s entitled to his opinion and obviously had his butt dumped by a girl named Trish well at least in his mind she was his girl, chances are she didn’t even know his name. Poor loser………

  • Megan

    Wow…. if eveyone agrees that “bob” is nothing more than an unhappy, hateful, and most likely, lonely man whom seems to have poor character, is likely uneducated, very closed minded, with zero integrity, and is flat out just being ugly, then how about we stop stooping down to his level and encouraging him with angry replies that I guarentee will never do any good at all. Stop responding to him! Its not worth it! If you need something to do with your time then go remind your loved ones that you love them, do something nice for a stranger, read a book, or go to bed and remember to thank god that, regarless of the circumstances surrounding the above heartbreaking story, it isnt your story….

  • mckenzifer

    I have a ten month old and I hate leaving the car running for 5 seconds between me turning it off and walking to the back seat to get him out. How do these parents have no care in the world?! Ridiculous.

  • mckenzifer

    If YOU are saying it’s UNDERSTANDABLE to FORGET your child in a vehicle hot or cold, YOU should probably be looked into as decent parents.

  • no more five oh

    WOW! Why do so many bash others for having a opinion. Its okay for some to have a opinion but not others. The real object here is the dead child!! It is my opinion that the one that forgot the child was in the car should be in prison in general population and let nature take it’s course. If it was a parent that left the child in the car, how do you forget your child is there. That is very poor parenting skills and their other children should be taken away.

  • Christina

    Just sick how could they do that to there child and how can you people come together for them your just as bad as they are your all sick people and need your heads examined they are grown adults they knew right from wrong you never ever leave a child alone regardless of the sistuation obviously they are not responsible and should not be able to keep ther other 2 what are they going to do to them people let’s get real here

  • Durch

    There is no excuse for this. How do you forget a child that young that needs constant feeding, diaper changing and stimulation either from being held or played with. I have small babies too and I’ve gone more than. 24hrs with out sleep when they are sick, then work a full time job and come home and do it all over I’m just as tired as any other person but I will never leave my baby in the car. On a side note, Trisha Martinez just shut up many of us love the constitution but we are not idiots about it

  • Angie

    Thinking about this heart breaking story, and the who, what’s, why, and how’s. We do not have all of these answers. I as a mother can say I am not perfect. When my son was just a few months old, I left him at my daughters pre-school. As I was talking with her about her day I looked in my rear view mirror and quickly realized I had left him at her school. The time lapsed had been maybe a minute and a half when I realized I had forgotten him. I understand mistakes.
    I have no idea how long this infant was left in this hot car. I can not imagine her thoughts and feelings of being left alone. It makes my heart hurt.
    I don’t know the answers to how whom ever left her in the car should be charged or if they should be charged at all.
    Unless this person who done this was just plain out heartless, I am sure they are hurting and feeling sorrow as well.
    Who am I to judge? I was not there, I do not know every detail.
    Was this intentional, is it right? Does any of us really know?
    In my heart I believe if this child was intentionally hurt, if the person who done it does not get what they deserve through the court system, they will be punished when their time is up.
    If this person is innocent, all those who have been demeaning in anyway will be held accountable for their opinions, thoughts, and actions.
    My love, thoughts, and prayers for this sweet baby, and those who have lost an angel.

    • Mica Udell Medford

      I’m sure they are suffering from this. I’m assuming they’re good people and good parents. However, it is negligent homicide of a child, according to the law. That’s what happens when we “forget” about our children. I would be devastated myself, if I were to forget my grand child was with me, even if nothing happened. However, I would still be guilty of negligent child abuse for leaving a child under nine in a car alone for any reason, under the law. Whoever forgot that child IS guilty of negligent homicide of a child, as would be proven in a court of law. Why they haven’t been charged based on evidence of a crime, is beyond me. CHILDREN MUST COME FIRST IN OUR LIVES AND IN OUR SOCIETY. And they aren’t. No excuses. Even for good people. No app is needed!

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