Child who died in hot car would have turned 1 Friday, parents speak at memorial event

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HURRICANE, Utah – Friday would have been Skyah Suwyn first birthday, but instead friends and family gathered to release balloons in honor of the young girl—who died after being left in a hot car last week.

Skyah’s parents spoke about the outpouring of support they’ve seen from their neighbors.

"They really want the best for us, and they've really stepped up to the plate and just been amazing,” said April Suwyn, who is Skyah’s mother.

April and her husband Micah said it is sometimes hard to breathe when they think about how their daughter is no longer with them, but they said actions like the event put together Friday night help them carry on day-to-day.

“It was awesome,” Micah Suwyn said. “Just another example of the love that people have shown to us and have for us.”

The Suwyn’s did not comment on what happened the day their daughter died after being left in a hot car. Police officials said they estimate Skyah was inside the vehicle for several hours. She was taken to a hospital after she was found, where she died.

Neighbors, like Jennifer Iverson, said the loss has been felt.

“I think it’s just a community where we all really care about each other, and so when a tragedy happens like this, it really does affect the whole community,” she said.

About 80 people gathered at a park to release balloons in Skyah’s honor. Some who attended said they don’t know the family personally, but they felt like showing support in the wake of the negative reactions some have expressed regarding the child’s death.

Neighbors like Lara Fitts spoke about the community’s willingness to come together during times of tragedy.

“I went through a recent tragedy myself, and they supported me... and this community reached out to me to, so I’m just here to do whatever I can to help,” she said.

Hurricane police officials said the case is still being reviewed, and it’s not clear if charges will be filed. Brock Belnap, Washington County Attorney, said he is prepared to make a thorough review of the case as well.

Micah Suwyn said Friday they are grateful for the community’s efforts on behalf of the family. A fundraising effort on their behalf has brought in thousands of dollars.

“For Skyah, for her life and her beauty and also to help us, just to support us on yet another day when we think about her,” he said.

Click here for more of today’s top stories from FOX 13.

65 comments

  • Judy

    That does not look like a distraught mother who just lost her child. You would think her eyes wouldn’t be dry enough to put all that makeup on. Something just doesn’t look right with this entire story.

    • Karen

      Judy, I was thinking exactly same thing. Mother doesn’t looks so much hurting. Put make up, earring on…
      I cried over 2 months after my dog died & couldn’t smile, put make up on..

      • LF

        Her earrings and necklace were gifts given to her an hour before in memory of her daughter with Skyah’s name on it.. When you lose someone you love you want symbols of them always reminding yourself and others that they are loved, missed and existed… I know the feeling .. And if anything.. I put my jewelry on as symbols and memorabilia. Why I gave those to her.

      • jsand

        Wow….glad you’re all so perfect. Just because she kept it together for a little while doesn’t mean the mom is guilty.

      • nicole

        It does mean she guilty cause she is duh. If you don’t think that she than your tripping. She doesn’t show no emotion.

      • jsanders1969

        Karen, Jealous much? The mother looks so much better here than you did two months after your dog died? Sounds like a personal problem. Get up and do something with yourself rather than bash people on the internet.

    • Michelle

      I think they should charge her accident or not other people get prosecuted thats just wrong I can’t think of why she ain’t in jail already that’s just wrong she did a crime the dad is clearly distraught but the mother looks not so sad such a beautiful baby….

      • LF

        When living such tragedy you literally are having out of body experience, numb, and floating through the motions. I look back to 10 months ago visually watching myself , a 34 year old widow holding my 1 year old in one arm and 3 year olds hand with my other following their daddy’s casket into the church… I’m still amazed I didn’t collapse and that I lived and still living the horror. Survival mode kicks in and you have little kids still relying on you as April has two boys that constantly kiss her and want to be held by her. You never know how you will react in such circumstances, but I assure you, in the safety of her home she is crippled with overwhelming emotion.

    • Angie

      What the hell is with you people and your nutty judgements? Of course she’s grieving horribly, but she is still able to speak and to thank people. I’m sure there have been many tears and many more to come, but I guess some people just want to see her suffer. Heartless jerks.

      • jewlzzz

        Angie I think what the hell is wrong with people is that their emotions were left in an well over 100 degree car to bake for several hours and they are quite done…… Not funny just the facts, poor little Skyah I wonder if you think about the abject torture this precious girl went through.

      • nicole

        We are not heartless people how do u feel when your in a hot car? Cant you imagine how that baby died shes not grieving. So you are saying it’s ok to kill babys? Yah we wanna see her suffer when her baby suffered.

  • Brian Michael Owens

    People need to stop being concerned for the feelings of the parents and more for the justice of the child the parents left in the hot car to die. Accident or not it is still child neglect at the least. No justice is being served here. Mayor John Bramall and Chief Lynn L. Excell, you need to do your job here and make sure this doesn’t happen to the next child. The parents were without a doubt negligent in caring for this child no matter what the excuse is. #justiceforskyah

    • Heather

      Justice? Do you think a parent is more apt to remember their child in a car if they know they will probably face jail time? I’m sure you are right. If this poor mother had known she could be punished, she wouldn’t have made such a fatal mistake. That is ridiculous thinking.

      • tiffany L

        Heather the threat of punishment should not have been the driving force behind her remembering her child in the car. This “poor mother” as you say it needs to be prosecuted if she left her child in the vehicle that in returned lead to the child’s death. It shouldn’t be. “aww poor mother here take my money” It should be ” You have the right to remain silent…”

      • Angie

        Exactly, Heather. As if this family weren’t suffering enough. And people want to take away their wife and mother too? Talk about cruel.

  • Paul Jensen

    It sickens me to read these hate filled, judgemental comments. This reader who is called “Disgusted” is showing hm or herself to be a religious bigot as well as a coward for using a real name.

    • Ziggyfly

      A parent’s negligence resulted in the DEATH of a child! An innocent baby who cried for mommy while suffering a horrible death. I get accidents happen, but this isn’t some small accident this is failing to provide proper protection to a child resulting in death. I honestly can see a stressed hectic life causing this to happen, but a child is dead!!!

    • Dutch

      How do you forget a child that young ? They’re in need of constant attention of some sort ; diaper changes, being feed or some other form if stimulation such as being held or played with. Yes she may feel bad but that does not excuse the negligence. Feeling bad does not mean you shouldn’t face charges, if that’s going to be the cases we may as we’ll let drunk drivers who’ve killed some use the “I feel bad, I didn’t mean to excuse” as well as other crimes to avoid jail time. There was a life lost . A life. It’s ok to support the family, I do believe they are hurting but there is accountability that need to be taken. Good grief there is more out rage over the accidental Clinton water contamination. That guy feels bad and it was an accident but he’s going to be charged and pay fines or jail time, no one died but he being dragged through the mud.

      • John

        Exactly a baby died oh well but people had to spent a few $ on bottled water, what an outrage!! Is sad people in Hurricane Utah have different standards on accountability

  • Karen

    Mother didn’t look like she was so much pain, hurting for her daughter’s death. That is only a week ago. If I killed my baby, I can’t come outside with put on beautiful make up with earring to public. I still crying in house & asking myself why did I kill her?. They treated like they are hero by their supporters. Unbelievable.

  • displeased

    I feel like this is a tragedy that could have been easily avoided. The parents are getting money for having killed there child? Yet child protective services will take away kids and charge people for not having the right kind of food in thier house in this ridiculous state. I mean good parents that are poor lose their kids but these people get money for killing their child. This is a crime in its self. I very seriously hope this family has to pay for what they did no matter how stressful, how hectic your life is it is wrong that this child suffered because her parents did not take the time to get her out of the car. It sickens me. Be a mormon get a get out of jail free card for anything. As for you all commenting on the poor parents, tell me do you leave your kids in the car? Ever?

  • Richard

    This parent needs to be charged with a crime. People don’t go around committing crimes and say, I forgot that was against the the law. EVERYONE needs to be held accountable, especially when it come to children. But don’t worry, we can make more kids. Give me a break.

  • Charge her with a crime

    She has 2 older children. You just don’t forget. Hold this lady accountable or prevent her from having more children. She is not parent worthy. Those poor children. She forgot one, i’m sure she will forget another.

  • Disturbed

    She killed her baby, deprived her of a future, and she’s hamming it up for the camera a week later after getting some cash in the bank besides. Charge that negligent mother with homicide.

  • Katie L

    Literally disgusted by these comments. DISGUSTED. Newsflash, a**holes: her baby died. She gets it. Message received. Have some compassion, for the love of God.

    • tiffany L

      Why have compassion? Her actions directly resulted in a death of a child. Sorry if I did the same thing I would probably kill myself. (not saying she should I am just saying what I would do) a 11month old is not at the age you can trust alone so why did the child go so long without being checked on? This is Negligent Homicide at he very least. I don’t feel bad when a drunk driver goes to jail after killing his spouse in the accident, I will not feel compassion for this mother.

    • John

      Katie L. I have great empathy for the family, I feel sorrow for the baby who roasted in the sweltering car which this mother is the cause of, so she feels bad but that doesn’t change the fact that she needs to be held responsible for the death that she caused even if she’s sorry. Asking for justice, accountability or prosecution doesn’t make people a-holes, I bet if they were not of your denomination, lived in a trailer park and didn’t look the part you’d be in an uproar of the death of the baby then .

    • T Reed

      Compassion really you make me sick.. how about this let her be your daycare provider since she has nothing else to do.. you might want to call and remind her she has your child since she clearly can’t remember on her own.. I hope that god hasn’t gave her nor gives her another child she is unworthy and undeserving and should never be allowed to care for anything that breaths.. NEWSFLASH I’m disgusted that your sticking up for a child killer..

  • Jane H.

    If Hurricane law officials, don’t make charges in this case, then they should be arrested and fired from their jobs. April’s story of “thinking she had put her daughter down for a nap” has so many holes in it. How could hours have passed without her checking on her baby, feeding her, play-time, snack-time, changing her diaper, lunch-time, anything??? When my son was 12 months old, he didn’t wake up in the morning, and then go lay back down to sleep for several hours. He was on the go constantly! I was always checking on him–even when he was napping. And, when I wasn’t checking on him, I had my monitor, so I could hear him when he woke up–many times playing with the toys in his crib. I always knew where he was and what he was doing–that’s just part of being a mom! Does anyone else see how unfit this mother is and what a ridiculous lie her story is? You just can’t forget about your baby for hours and hours and then call it a mistake!!!???

    • Disturbed

      This. We are talking about an 11 month old baby whose well-being wasn’t checked on for HOURS. Even if she HADN’T been in the car, where was she? Who doesn’t check in on their child when they are napping? This was NEGLIGENCE pure and simple. These parents are enjoying the weekend, the warm sun, the fatter bank account, and their baby is dead because mom couldn’t be bothered with her. It’s a shameful situation, and charges need to be filed.

    • Karen

      I agree. This HURRICANE community this mothers supporters are abnormal. Almost made me sick & I saw there something mind control or cult. I bet some people living in HURRICANE thinking they don’t want live this city anymore. I believe most of normal people never want to move in and live this community since we seeing this. Very very scary. Just like you said, If she escape from law and that is ok for this city, HURRICANE will be bankruptcy in the future & low officers loose their job and only the one this parent made money by killing their daughter. They may move to other city near future & start new life with that money. Open your eyes this mothers supporters!!

  • Megan

    Im sorry but NO GOOD mother just forgets her child in the car. This is neglect and she needs to be behind bars. To think people are raising money for her is the most ridiculous thing i have ever heard. She killed her daughter.

  • David

    How can people live with themselves like that after their neglect went so far as to kill their little baby.

  • no five oh

    It would be nice to get the full truth about what really happened. We never will. However how can anybody support this mother for leaving a child in a hot car. Weather she meant to or accendently. She needs to go to prison and let the other inmates get justice for the child.

  • Clara Dipo Blackburn

    I was thinking the same thing she doesn’t seem to distraught, I lost my barely 19 year young son to a car accident. 20 Years ago and I still have never been the same, some thing isn’t right here. The Community seemed more up set then they did.

  • nicole

    There is no compassion for people like that. She knew what she was doing when she left her baby in that hot car. If she didn’t want her baby she shouldn’t of spread her legs and got pregnant. Its not the baby’s fault whatever you were going through. Living it up with all that money you collected for killing your baby. You need to be left in a hot car and see how your baby felt.

  • jodie

    What does she mean by “stepped up to the plate ” ….16,000 dollars plus raised ,is that what she means ? Did they not have life insurance on their children like most responsible parents . What happens to any left over if it was used for funeral expenses . What that innocent child went through, unimaginable she should not get off lightly !

  • GI Bride

    It is beyond me how a mother could forget her child. First and foremost does she not ever listen to the news about all the dead children in the last few months who were left in cars to die by irresponsible parents. Then to fund raise to give her money, . Something is seriously wrong, with peoples thinking. Child services really need to watch this lady to see if the other children are being supervise properly.

  • Melanie

    My question is how could you forget you child is in the car? I may not be a mother but I’m a big sister and aunt to young kids and I could never forget they were in the car with me. I just can’t comprehend how you can forget something as important as your own child!

  • Kassandra

    Once the shock wears off and people go back to their own lives and stop coddling this mother, is when April will realize just how much she hurts. This was not an accident, this was negligence. That poor baby.

  • Mosquito

    “Accident” doesn’t necessarily mean it wasn’t negligence. Even criminal negligence. And discussing that possibility doesn’t show a “lack of compassion.” Compassion does not eliminate responsibility. Let the system work.

    I do not find it reasonable that she didn’t check on an infant for HOURS, even if she did believe the child was “napping.” I’ve raised kids. It would be extremely negligent to assume that an 11 month old infant is perfectly fine after several hours of total silence.

    I can actually see the possibility of forgetting the kid in the car seat, but not for THAT long. You’d have to entirely forget that you even have a kid in the first place.

    Lastly: Cashing in on this is disturbing, to say the least. Give the money to charity. That would go a long way toward making me feel better. If it gets turned into a big screen TV then something is definitely wrong. There is NO WAY I could possibly accept money if I were in that position, except to pay for a nice grave marker. Anything left over I’d have to give away or I couldn’t live with myself.

  • Tracy Reed

    Have some Compassion , and sympathy for this poor mother… seriously she left a baby a precious child to bake in a hot car for hours not minutes, but hours that does not deserve compassion or sympathy it deserves jail no prison time.. if someone else would have taken that baby and caused death they would be in jail right now.. it’s makes me sick to see that ppl are giving this child killer any sympathy at all I say give her the same amount of time locked in the same hot car that her baby died in let her dot and bake for hours just like that poor innocent little 11 month old baby did. What kind of mother does that? I have 4 children and never have I left them unattended for hours or even minutes for that matter. Can you imagine what was going through that baby’s mind as it got hotter and harder to breath wondering if the person that gave birth to her was going to come back for her and the longer it got what do you think was going through that little girls mind? Maybe she was wondering why she was given a parent that could forget about her that easy and why her why couldn’t she have had a mother that loved her enough to remember she had left her in that car.. it makes me sick and I hope she burns in hell for what she has done and I hope the day comes she has to face that little girl and explains why she left her to bake in that car for hours. Sympathy, compassion I think not..

  • kat

    I couldn’t even finish watching this video, it makes me so upset how people don’t realize what she did is completely unacceptable and she does not need people telling her that it’s okay accidents happen. that was just negligence to the fullest extent.

  • Karen

    If this mother did this in other state,she would be in prison.If she don’t get criminal charge, state of Utah, specially HURRICANE will be famous to scariest place to living in nation.

  • T Reed

    I think the public has the right to know why she is not behind bars… I think we have the right to know the whole story not just parts of it there is a baby that is dead because of the neglect of its mother. It was not an unpreventable accident it was clearly a senseless, careless, neglectful and very preventable act by this mother… We the public should be demanding answers as to why this baby killer is not behind bars.. Why is she allowed to get up and put make up on or clothes of her choice? Why is she allowed to receive money, or communicate with law abiding citizens? She has taken the life of a beautiful innocent child a child that could not yell for help or had any chance of making it out of that hot car alive, she’s a baby killer… Why is she not I’m jail and why is anyone having sympathy, compassion or anything else for her? I think we need to take a stand for baby skyah and demand answers and see that justice is served..

  • Kevin

    HOW DO YOU “FORGET” YOUR CHILD FOR HOURS WHILE THEY BAKE IN A CAR IN 90+ DEGREE HEAT….and no charges filed?? In SL a man goes on trial for abuse because he pulled a child down the street on a childrens tether. I can’t believe that the people who live in Hurricane and the entire state are so accepting of these parents behavior.. DCFS will pull a child out of a home for the most ridiculous reasons (especially if you don’t have the financial status to fight them) but in Hurricane it is acceptable to “forget” your child until they bake to death in a hot car and the town turns out in numbers to show support for these people. Fox 13 runs the same story providing no information about the death of the child and reminds its viewers that cars can get extremely hot in a short time during the summer. Thanks for pointing out the obvious…you must think all of your viewers are complete idiots. Then they run a story about another parent who neglected their child in the same way with the same results saying we should all have compassion for what this family in Hurricane is going through and provide full coverage of the show of support the people in S Utah are showing for this current tragedy.. I have to assume that Fox 13 also thinks it is acceptable to “forget” your child in a hot car in 90+ degree heat…..and call it a tragedy instead of what it really is…NEGLECT!!!!

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