Death Of Ridgefield Boy Left In Hot Car Ruled Homicide

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The death of Benjamin Seitz, a 15-month-old Ridgefield boy, has been ruled a homicide.
The death of Benjamin Seitz, a 15-month-old Ridgefield boy, has been ruled a homicide. Photo Credit: Gift of Ben website

RIDGEFIELD, Conn. -- In a case that has drawn attention from throughout the area, the medical examiner’s office has ruled the death of a Ridgefield baby a homicide, according to a report on NBCConnecticut.com.

Benjamin Seitz, who was 15 months old, died on July 7 to hyperthermia because of environmental exposure, but further details would not be released, according to the medical examiner. 

Seitz’s father, Kyle, left the boy in the car when he went to work, officials said. Seitz was supposed to drop his child off at daycare before reporting to work at Owl Computing Technologies on Grove Street. Temperatures reached 88 degrees on the day the boy died.

Lindsay Rogers-Seitz, the boy’s mother, said Kyle drove to the daycare center to pick up their son. When he asked workers if his wife picked up the boy, Kyle was told she had not. He returned to his car, found the boy and rushed to Danbury Hospital.

No charges have yet been filed against Kyle Seitz.

Rogers-Seitz has said she has forgiven her husband. She created a blog, The Gift of Ben, to help raise awareness for hyperthermia.

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Comments (54)

FYI
I do realize that I am a moron.

@acallforjustice: Please explain to me why this is happening more and more since this law has been enacted. Like i said how can someone call me irresponsible when i explained that some people have sports cars and traditional pickup trucks and transport there kids around in them. Should the government ban children from riding in those types of vehicles. Of course not. So on a daily bases people transport there kids in cars and trucks in the front seat. So once again explain to me why this is happening and increasing in frequency. Once again it is my thoughts on the issue and i assure you i am not stupid. Someone leaving there kids in a car when not supervised or it is 90* out might just be stupid. Do you think!

Meanwhile in Connecticut, a similar incident occurred on July 7, 2014. In this case, 15-month-old Benjamin Seitz was left in his father’s vehicle after his father also forgot to drop him off at daycare. Although the incidents are frighteningly similar and little Benjamin’s death has been ruled a homicide, no criminal charges have been filed as yet. Other cases of children being left in hot cars, in Kansas, in Texas, and in Florida may lead one to believe that the number of deaths related to children being left in hot cars is on the rise. Claims are that they forgot them. One has to wonder if the child was in the front seat and more visible this can be avoided.

You see i am not the only one that believes the law is flawed.

I gather you are a irresponsible person since you keep insisting having a child in the front seat is better, it only means one thing! You need a reminder! Come on, we are grown adults here and if we can remember our phones, cigaretts and other life necessary things that we are so obsessed and addicted to, why can't we remember we have a young child in the back seat. I simply don't get why we need to leave a bag or briefcase to remind us a child is back there. Your thoughts and mind should be on your child in the back seat talking to him or her and not being on a phone with someone that you are literally distracted that your kid is back there. You get out of the car the car is not that freaking tinted dark that you did not see the child! You need to wake up!

@ acallforjustice, *save your energy, trying to reason with some of these commenters about this is akin to talking to a wall. Can't fix stupid.

@Cjcattano..you are absolutely right!

Ok so lets say his father drove a conventional pickup or a 2 seat sports car. Would he have died. Chances are probably not. My thinking as some is that because his car has a back seat it was mandatory to have him in the back seat. So what happened most likely is the father forgot him, Strange i admit but this is the scenario that is most logical. So as i said these deaths are on the rise all over the country and we have this mandatory back seat law. Logic would dictate the law is definitely flawed in this case. Now if you do not agree come up with a better answer than calling me names. So just because my views are different from yours i am laughable and need help. Nope i was not the one that left the child . And if i had little kids i would not leave them in a hot car. I have grand kids and take them all over the place and never once left one in a hot car. As i said just my take on the issue. Once again any more bright ideas from the left!

@cjcattano: I certainly do blame deaths on certain laws that are push on us and say they are for the good of mankind. My kids were always in the front seat of my car when they were little. belted in of course and never in the back seat. One has to wonder why a law was written to forbid front seat children. Of course some died by air bags but as i already said air bags can be shut off. So here we have a law passed and introduced that requiring rear seating for infants and they are dying. Any other bright ideas from the left. I can post many laws passed that are entirely detrimental. But they keep on passing these laws as usual. Yes i blame the liberals just me and it has been proven as the deaths of kids being left in cars is rising. And i am sure they will will push for legislation that will be mandatory for some device or a warning system to prevent this. And the consumer will suffer once again because people are preoccupied and leave there kids in locked cars when it is 90* out and they die. Just my thoughts on this.

John
Check yourself into the mental ward....

Robby.Rob, John Asmar and Mark Markiam both need to check into the mental ward. They are so far gone that the only thing they seems to see is the liberals and government is the reason this child has died. How can they not see that a father has a child in the back seat, you get out of the car, the is not limousine tinted and you are telling me that he doesn't see the child in the back seat. You go to lunch and back and you are still telling me you do not see a child back there or even communicate with the daycare or your wife only to find out that after he left work not looking in the back seat going to the daycare only to realize the child is not there and went out to find him in the car? To top it off while at work you do not think about the child to realize you never made the drop off? Give me a break they both need some help and very soon!

John Asmar you are too far gone to even have a discussion with, The Liberals are coming... The Liberals are coming...! This is a tragedy, a man forgot his baby in his car and all you can think of is blaming the liberals. If you were not so pathetic you would actually be funny. Actually you are funny - a real joke.

John clearly has issues and should get help

Unfortunately, you cant blame anyone but the father for forgetting the child, no matter what your opinion of the backseat law is.

If the death has been ruled a homicide, how can they not charge him? However, if they do charge him, would be something akin to negligent homicide, or manslaughter. Of course, that is assuming that the father did not intend for this to happen.

Dear CJ Cattano:

The evidence is clear, had Benjamin Seitz sat in the front seat with his father Kyle on July 7th, he would be alive today.

What you can't seem to understand is for every action government takes, it creates a condition that will adversely affect someone and in this case, that someone is the 20 children who die every year in the back seats of cars.

Maybe my numbers are off or maybe they're on, but the continued deaths year in and year out demand a re-examination of the laws and technology that forced kids to backseats nearly 20 years ago.

It’s obvious that you believe you can demand perfection ensuring that no parent ever leaves a kid in the back seat.

That is an impossibility – ask any insurance actuary, if something is possible, it will happen and they can calculate how often it will happen.

By the way, the url below will take you to an article in today’s Daily News. It seems that a Wyoming police officer has been charged with cruelty to animals for leaving his drug sniffing dog in the car for 5 hours and dying.

Once again, if it can happen, it will happen. The only question is - how often?

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/wyoming-charged-animal-cruelty-death-k9-partner-article-1.1913789

Mark - what you can't seem to understand is very simple .... ready... here goes, YOU DO NOT LEAVE YOUR BABY IN YOUR CAR. That's it- plain and simple. You can pontificate all you want, at the end of the day a precious life should be given the utmost of consideration. Your facts are akin to a robotic survey. Not reality based nor are they rooted in humanity, you know when two people sign up to become parents they become a family. That family is now the number one priority. That means that whether or not you have your baby sitting in the front seat or the back that baby is priority 1. Not only did this mental midget of a father forget his baby in a scorching car, he then drove to the day care center looking for the child whilst this poor angel lay dead in the back seat. Nope - I dont buy your BS for a minute, and I am proud to be a mom to 3 beautiful children that are priority 1 to me, never did my babies have to wonder if i'd forget them in a hot car. Perhaps you should be left in a hot car - would you then be so quick to write it off as a simple mistake?

Dear CJ –

Years ago listening to the late, great former Mayor Ed Koch on his radio talk show, a caller kept repeating the same diatribe over and over, no matter how many different ways Koch tried to explain a point.

Finally Koch stopped being polite and said, ‘Friend, it’s obvious that due to a lack of intellect on your part, no matter how many ways I put this, you will never understand’ and hung up.

CJ – I do the same.

Mark
you should take your own advise

Dear Mark Markarian-

Your FOOLISHNESS isn't a matter of lack of intelligence or even lack of information, it's just your opinion, *TRUTH will always be truth, regardless of a lack of understanding, disbelief or just plain old ignorance.

I am so shocked by the comments that are placing the responsibility on the government for the death of this baby while in his fathers care. It is truly sickening how some can dismiss the huge job being a parent actually is. This is NOT the fault of government policy, the back seat law or anything else other than a parent that thought so little of his own baby that he forgot all about him. I can't imagine in my wildest thought ever being able to do something like that. The fault lies in the neglectful father - and I am not sympathetic to him, my heart goes out to the poor little angel who sat back there wondering where his mommy or daddy was and why they never came to get him. At 15 months old he was incapable of crying out for help - he was in the trust 100% of his parent - and that parent failed miserably- period.

Children DO NOT belong in front seats - wow... really? Ever heard of airbags??? I am seriously blown away but the stupidity of people. If you can't remember your own child in the car with you then for God sake get help NOW, because there is something dangerously wrong with you.

We are the government we are here to help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The parents are soliciting the car companies to come up with answers. And i am sure the government will force car companies to deal with this. Just like talking while driving. Everyone knows it it dangerous. As the matter of fact more so than DUI but you see it every day. And i see it with young mothers driving
with there kids in the car. people just do not know how to drive and take care of there affairs. Plain and simple they are preoccupied and ignore laws on a regular basis. Just my take on this. he parents are blaming the government and car companies if you read what they want.

Wow. I am consistently amazed at the range of varying opinions these sites garner by all of us reading the same article. While I will hold judgement on the guilt of this man until I know for sure what took place that day, i.e. Did he or didn't he leave his son in car during a whole day, during lunch etc, as I have heard rumor and read that, but I cannot for the life of me understand the comments here changing the subject and blaming a task that this parent should have handled on a law that requires kids sit in a back seat! How about we take ownership for our actions? These parents became adults in the era of putting your kids in the back seat behind you. They know how the world works clearly. Stop blaming our government and everyone else for not doing the right thing! I have not seen one statement by the father showing remorse but his wife quickly was speaking out about the funeral and setting up this website which I found in very odd and poor taste within days of such a painful loss. I can't comprehend the pain of losing a child but I can't also comprehend how this can happen and people point the finger at everyone and every thing but themselves. Let's hope this is a wake up call for all of us that it's about being a responsible human being and thinking of others so this doesn't happen again.

I agree with you, what I cannot get either is, how is it that the parents do not communicate during the day? This is the second one in two months that happened and its the same exact way. What is even a red flag to me is the fact that when he left work wouldn't he have called his wife to ask if she picked him up? This story is too planned out!

I don't believe for a second that he forgot him. The child was probably cramping his style and this looked like a good way to "fake" an accident. There has been to much hype about this on the news for this guys mind to go blank. Then he drove to pick him up ? didn't see him ? come on, how dumb are we to believe that .This is the opinion of me.

All the liberal states that made it a law and forced the feds to follow to have children in back seats are the issue. Car companies now have switches to defeat pass side front air bags. But as usual government is at it again by passing laws to protect us and our kids. Why don't they but out of our lives and start reasoning things out. Once again the powers to be caused this with there narrow minded laws that do more harm than good.

You blame liberal state policy for a parent forgetting their own baby and leaving that baby in a sweltering car locked in with no air to die a slow death? Really? it's the liberals fault?? This is why some people simply should not have children, and moreover why the liberals have thier faults but the other side is just bat poop crazy. Imagine blaming a neglectful, parent that forgets about his baby in a hot car on liberal policy - POOF- you just blew my mind...

This is an awful, awful story. Creating an APP, putting a mechanism into cars, or making devices to prevent these occurrences is ludicrous.

It's your baby! For God's sake, not a cell phone or wallet. Don't blame the weather or being preoccupied, or the fact that you didn't talk to the other parent all day.

I just wrote the same thing, how is it that two parents do not communicate during the day!

Out of site, out of mind. Its an old axiom that is apropos to this tragedy.

When the Federal government forced states to ban children from front seats of cars, they guaranteed a percentage of children would die of exposure every year while being accidentally left in back seats. It's just math.

In 1997, the late NY Assemblyman Tony Seminerio was quoted in the NY Times as saying "To me, it's just a common-sense thing," "When they're in the backseat, the injuries are less, and they're less severe. Even if you save one kid's life out of it, it's well worth it."

According to that same article, from 1986 to 1995 36 children were killed by airbags, which was the reason for the ban of children from front seats. That averages out to 4 children killed annually by airbags.

What Tony Seminerio, the Legislators and the Feds didn't realize was that the cure would be worse than the disease.

According to the website http://www.ggweather.com/heat/ since 1998, 312 children have died after being left unintentionally in back seats, for a yearly average of 20 deaths a year.

So if you want to blame anyone for the death of 15 month old Benjamin Seitz, blame your state legislators, not his father Kyle.

Ban the ban and put kids where they belong, in the front seats with their mom’s and dads!

No - it's not just math, it's called being a parent. Taking the job seriously and not forgetting about your baby! I am so disgusted by your comment that I can't place my words here on this forum. I only pray that you do not have any children.

You cannot put small children in the front seat! What are you an idiot? An 12 year old fine but an infant? You have some issues...

1. I lived in the front seat of my fathers car, from birth forward.

2. I just showed you statistically, that it looks like it is safer for a child / infant to reside in the front seat then the rear seat.

3. I use my real name.

4. One of us is an idiot - it's not me.

Mark, i too use my real name and would like to say that I am happy for you that you "lived in the front" of your fathers car. Kudos to your dad...? This is about a parents job, and if a parent can so easily forget the precious life they are transporting so much so that they need to constantly see the child right next to them then that person is either mentally incompetent, grossly vacuous or both. Your stats are just one opinion, and there are many by other "experts' that disagree. It's very simple Mark Markarian: You have a baby you now become # 2 in the equation - the baby becomes #1. The precious life isn't just tossed in any spot so that it is easier for you to remember where you left it - that's what you do with your car keys.

@Mark Markarian, in these times a child especially an infant is not safe! If an accident occur and the front of the car is smashed in how is it that a child is safe? If the car is rammed in the door and the airbag again deployed how is it the infant is safe. You should be thankful that your life was spared but in these times when things are getting worse on the road a child is never safe front or rear? Seems to me like you are telling me that an adult have to have the child in the front seat to be more responsible. You cannot put a child directly behind you, you have to put him/her behind the front passenger seat. But no matter what we should not need the child in the front or rear to remind us. We brought them in the world to be responsible for them just like our parents did and if you did not do that then you fail!

-----------"In these times a child especially an infant is not safe!"

Huh??????

Once again, in 1998 4 children died every year due to airbags.

Today, 20 children die every year due to being forced to be placed in back seats.

Hence, while a far more robust study would need to be done, the current data indicates that if children we placed back in front seats there would be fewer children dying in car accidents.

I'm sorry if logic can't overcome your conditioned thinking.

Add to that, that with even more sophisticated technology, we could probably get airbag deaths down to 1.

1. I lived in the front seat of my fathers car, from birth forward.

2. I just showed you statistically, that it looks like it is safer for a child / infant to reside in the front seat then the rear seat.

3. I use my real name.

4. One of us is an idiot - it's not me.

I can not in my mind figure out how this can happen. Are people really that preoccupied by other things in life. God knows i have made mistakes. But i have 6 kids and never forgot any one of them in a car. Very sad at best..

What I further cannot understand is, didn't these two parents speak all day....and chat about the child being dropped off, how was he doing, happy, sad, so forth?
I remember so long ago dropping my little one at pre-K and in those days we could stay a little...then at some point, during the day, speak to your husband (wife in this case) and talk about your child, his mood, etc. Something doesn't ring right with this story? OR they are two incredibly cold, uncaring people. This is such an awful tragedy and I do think further investigation is warrented.

Gotta say I'm surprised by the reactions of people. The guy made the worst possible mistake and I'm sure he feels as badly about it as it is possible to feel. It doesn't make sense to me that he should be facing criminal charges on top of it. Unless they have some reason to believe that he did it on purpose I just don't see why they want to see him punished. I'm absolutely sure that no one else reading this would ever make a mistake like this, you're all much too good for that. See, if he really didn't realize that his son was in the car, and I believe that he didn't, then he is innocent of nothing more than being absent minded. The fact that the outcome was so tragic doesn't change that. This is what people fail to understand. People make mistakes and forget things all the time. They even forget their children sometimes. Because the human mind is not perfect. It is fallible. This guy just had the horrible luck to have the worst possible outcome. I think he's suffered enough and he had no intention of hurting his child. He is innocent and should not be prosecuted. Of course if he is lying that is different but it doesn't seem that he is.

I am surprised at how blasse you are about this - "people make mistakes....?" Really, do you have kids?
Nope - sorry but this one is not just a "mistake". I'll say it again,.... you forget your cell phone, your car keys, your wallet, your watch .... NOT your child - not EVER.
Unacceptable under any circumstances - Period.

I don't have kids. I guess that invalidates everything I have to say. Good arguing there cj. Check mate.

Just to clear this up, I'm not blase'. What happened was undeniably a tragedy. What I disagree with is the assumption that because the father forgot that he had the kid in the car that he must not have loved him or that it wasn't really an accident. Even parents who truly love their kids sometimes forget them. Of course not you cj. I realize now that you would NEVER EVER forget one of your children. But you are better than most people. Not everyone is as good a person as you are. You've made that clear. But sometimes these lesser people are parents and they really really love their kids but yet they still forget them. Yes it does happen. Again, NOT TO YOU or to people as good as you but to the less perfect parents.
This child's death is not a small thing. Indeed it is a terrible tragedy. But it is a tragedy. Unless someone has some evidence that it was anything other than an honest mistake, and I'm not talking about your opinion that no parent could ever forget their child in the car, I'm talking about actual evidence, then there is no reason to believe that it was anything but a tragic mistake and it is not a crime and the man should not be prosecuted. Mistakes happen, even tragic mistakes by loving parents that result in the deaths of their beloved children. Of course not by you or people as good as you but to some of the unlucky less perfect parents.

If taking proper care of my children makes me good then I suppose I am. Accidents do happen however forgetting your baby in the back seat of a scorching hot car and the driving to that baby's daycare center looking for him only to find he's been lying lifeless in your back seat the entire time, that's pure negligence. Irrespective of his thoughts or intensions, if he did or did not mean to do it - it matters not because right now the most important issue - that which you can't seem to grasp is not whether he meant to do it or even if it was an accident. The issue is does a parent get a pass for this type of negligence. Your comment is useless, seems it bother you immensely that I take great pride in being a responsible parent and how much I value the life of a child. You said you don't have any children, that just may a good thing...

What planet did you fall from, this has been happening nationwide and has been on the news all over don't tell me this is not an eye opener to parents of young kids! This is the second one in two months. All your guesses lead to the fact that he was either on the phone with some chick and she sweetened his day but that doesn't excuse the fact that when you get out of the car your windows may be tinted lightly but you can see the child. When I use to drop my kid off I still look to see if I brought in everything, even now I check the back for any grocery or anything else before I lock up...common sense!

This horrific incident is NEGLECT -- and it is beyond sad. This woman is clearly from the contents of her blog in serious denial and the father, well he is just reprehensible. I'm sorry.... you forget your cell phone, your car keys, your wallet, your watch .... NOT your child - not EVER.
Unacceptable under any circumstances. Sickening.

I find it ironic that the parents are blaming things like the weather the car companies and everything other than the husband who was negligent. I for the life of me can not understand how this happened. And if i am reading the news correctly the father drove his car at lunch time. Not 100% sure this is true but i read it somewhere.

I cannot believe after the same thing happen to the Georgia couple which was all over the news the very same thing happen again elsewhere??? What is wrong with people and how could he not notice the child in his car when he got in to go to the daycare. This is pure madness

The mom has a blog that sounds like she is blaming the heat. She is blaming the car manufacturers. It's time she wakes up and stops blaming others for the tragedy.

That blog is really messed up for many reasons. I'm pretty shocked by it.

Why didn't he see him when he was getting out of his car? You know what I'm getting sick about these people that are so preoccupied that they forget their own kid. I have no sympathy for them. When you have a baby, you are no longer #1, that baby Is for the rest of your life. God bless that baby.

You are absolutely right 1Nancy, this story is sickening and the comments about it not being the fathers fault are beyond the beyonds insane.