Alabama Grandfather Charged After 2-Year-Old Dies from Being Left in Hot Car: 'It's Awful'

Bill Wiesman allegedly told police he believed he dropped his 2-year-old grandson off at daycare before leaving the toddler in a car for seven hours in 90-degree weather

Photo: Blount County

A grandfather from Alabama has been charged in connection with the death of his 2-year-old grandson who died after being left in a hot car for seven hours.

On Wednesday, The Oneonta Police Department said in a statement via Facebook that it, along with the Blount County Sheriff's Office, Blount County DHR, and Blount County District Attorney's Office was "investigating the death of a two-year-old male child."

The OPD added that relatives found the child inside of a car at a daycare just after 3 p.m. local time.

"However, the child was not under the supervision of the daycare facility," police noted, adding, "A family member transported/found him deceased around 3 PM at the local facility."

Officers believed the toddler was left in the car for hours.

Oneonta Police Department and the Blount County Sheriff's Office did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

Blount County District Attorney Pamela Casey became emotional as she spoke about the case in a news briefing on Wednesday, captured by a local ABC affiliate.

She clarified that while the child was found dead at a daycare, he was taken there in a vehicle and the daycare employees have no connection to his death.

Identifying the grandfather as 56-year-old Bill Wiesman and the deceased as 2-year-old Ian Wiesman, Casey said that morning, Wiesman picked up Ian and went to work but left Ian in the car.

Wiesman "returned to the truck on three occasions" and drove the vehicle throughout the day, which Casey said, "indicates he always thought he took the child to daycare."

She later said he returned to the daycare "thinking he had left the child there."

Casey also noted the child's car seat was forward facing, not rear facing.

"So as a result of his behavior and his act, the child died from a prolonged exposure to heat," said the District Attorney.

Casey wasn't clear on Wiesman's bond amount. At the time, he was at the Sheriff's Office and would later be arrested and charged.

He has since been charged with reckless manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide, according to multiple outlets.

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Casey, who is a mother to a 2-month-old and 3-year-old, fought back tears as she shared her reaction to the tragedy during the press conference.

"It's awful when it happens anywhere. It's awful when you have to work these cases, and you go home to your babies and you see what you see and videos. It's awful. My heart breaks for this family. This family is very upset about what happened."

"As a mom, I don't think anybody ever understands it. I didn't sleep last night. I don't understand it," said Casey.

She added that there's no "evidence" Wiesman suffered from dementia.

According to Fox 59 in Indianapolis, Ian was inside of the truck for seven hours on Tuesday, when temperatures got as high as 90 degrees.

Wiesman allegedly told police that during those seven hours, he went home for lunch around 12:45 p.m. and stood next to the truck to smoke a cigarette and play a cell phone game before he returned to work, per Fox 59.

Wiesman's daughter then called him around 3 p.m. local time and asked where her son was. An aunt had gone to pick up Ian but was told he never arrived. Wiesman said he was convinced he dropped off the child and drove to the daycare.

"Upon arrival, Ian's aunt came out to the truck and found Ian deceased in the back driver's seat of Wiesman's truck," documents from the District Attorney's office said, according to the news station.

It is not known if Wiesman has an attorney to comment.

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