Coroner: New details in death of Columbus toddler

Published: Jun. 27, 2022 at 2:32 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 28, 2022 at 4:40 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - The Muscogee County coroner has given an update on the story of a Columbus toddler found dead in a restaurant parking lot Sunday night.

On Sunday night, June 26, the 3-year-old was found dead inside an SUV in the parking lot Wendy’s on Wynnton Road.

The coroner says the child’s grandmother realized he was missing around 8 p.m. Muscogee County Coroner Buddy Bryan says the child, 3-year-old Kendrick Engram Jr., his grandmother and several other kids had been out and about all day and made several stops.

Three-year-old Kendrick Engram Jr.
Three-year-old Kendrick Engram Jr.(Source: Cassandra Thomas)

Around 5:30 p.m., the family came back home. However, Engram never got out the SUV. A few hours later, the grandmother realized she had not seen the child for some time. She then called the child’s uncle who was borrowing the car to make an ice cream run.

That’s when the uncle found the toddler in the third row seat of a Nissan SUV parked in the Wendy’s parking lot.

Kendrick Engram was pronounced dead at shortly after 9 o’clock last night. He died from asphyxiation from being left in a hot vehicle.

“Just be aware. Just be aware. If you’re an adult, be responsible,” said Coroner Buddy Bryan. “The children are innocent. They can’t help themselves and when you have a child that puts the responsibility on you.”

Right now, police say it is unclear if anyone will face charges for 3-year-old’s death.

According to SafeKids Columbus, this is the 7th child to die in a hot car this year nationwide and second in Georgia.

To donate to Kendrick Engram, Jr.’s GoFundMe, click here. A balloon release will be held for Engram Saturday, July 2, at 6 p.m. at Wendy’s on Wynnton Road.

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