Parents charged after their child dies from being left in a hot car

Ruthene Kennedy

Ruthene Kennedy, 44, and Joe Kennedy, 57, have been charged with Unlawful Conduct Toward a Child after their 13-month-old son Jeremiah Kennedy died in May as a result of hyperthermia after being left in a hot car.

The parents were charged Wednesday and released from jail on bond, according to the Florence County Detention Center.

The baby had been left in the car for about an hour and a half with the windows closed, according to a news release from the Florence County Sheriff's Office.

A Sheriff's Office incident report says the parents discovered the child had been left in the hot car May 25 on Malclay Lane in Florence and immediately took the boy to the hospital where he died three days later.

The report adds Joe Kennedy says he and his wife both thought the other one took the child out of the car.

When the parents realized what happened, they went back to the car and found Jeremiah sweaty and having what appeared to be seizures, according to the incident report.

It says they immediately drove the child to Carolinas Hospital System.

The incident report says Joe Kennedy's 2011 Chevrolet Silverado was towed.

The couple's attorney, Malloy McEachin, said the family is working to get through this situation.

"It's a very difficult time for them and just a horrible accident," said McEachin.

Ruthene and Joe Kennedy were released from the Florence County Detention Center on Wednesday on $2,500 personal recognizance bonds.