Steven Darnell Lillie was arrested on Friday after he left his nine-month-old daughter in a hot pickup truck to die.
According to police, Lillie, 31, of Cocoa, Florida, forgot to drop off his baby Anna Marie at her grandmother’s house before heading off to work. Instead, he left her for hours in the backseat of his truck, where she died of heat stroke.
He has been arrested and charged with aggravated manslaughter.
“He’s been cooperative the whole time, and he handled the arrest as well as it could be handled. He was emotional,” said Lt. Donna Seyferth, a spokeswoman for the Rockledge Police Department. “We investigated the case and applied the most appropriate charges. And we did step back and allow the family a chance to grieve. But it’s a fine line to walk and ultimately, you had a child die. The rest will be up to a jury.”
Anna Marie was not the first death to occur from heat stroke in a vehicle. According to KidsAndCars.org, she was the 12th so far.
“She’s been in the car for hours, and I absolutely forgot about her,” Lillie said in a 9-1-1 call on Monday. “She’s not alive.”