AMERICAN FORK, Utah, July 22, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — A GoFundMe account has been set up to assist with funeral expenses after an 11-year-old boy was found dead in a hot car at a business complex in American Fork Wednesday afternoon.
It was initially reported that Josh Hancey was 9 years old.
American Fork Police Department Lt. Josh Christensen told Gephardt Daily officers were dispatched at approximately 1:22 p.m. along with fire and EMS to a report of a child that was left in a car and was unconscious and not breathing.
“Officers and EMS arrived on scene and CPR had already been initiated and they continued first aid efforts but unfortunately they were unsuccessful,” Christensen said.
A medical helicopter also responded but the child was pronounced dead at the scene.
It is thought Josh was in the vehicle for approximately two hours before he was found, Christensen said.
The vehicle was parked outside a business called Roost Services, which provides services for intellectually disabled individuals.
“He was in the care of that facility at the time,” he added. “It sounds like he was brought here by a staff member, I’m not sure where from, along with two other individuals, and then somehow was left in the vehicle.”
The windows and doors of the car were closed and it was turned off.
The GoFundMe page, set up by the young boy’s uncle, says the following:
“On Wednesday, July 21, 2021, a tragedy struck my family that we could have never imagined happening. My nephew, Joshua Hancey, died at the young age of 11 years old. Josh had special needs and was going to a care facility. A member of the facility staff picked him up from his house, and drove him to the care facility for the day. To my family’s horror, he had been left in a car with the windows rolled up on a hot summer day for several hours before the facility realized he had not been brought inside.
“There are no words to describe the devastation my family is feeling right now. Josh was a loving child who needed extra care, and was gravely mistreated. What Josh endured in his final hours is unspeakable, and nothing I would ever wish on someone else.
“This was not anything we could have expected, and right now we need help. We do not have the money to cover funeral services to be able to lay Josh to rest the way we would like to. If you are able to donate anything at all, my family would be forever grateful. The donations will be going directly to his parents. Rest In Peace Josh, you are very loved.”
An investigation into the incident is underway.
“We are still investigating right now to determine if there is a criminal element to this or not, what contributed to the child being left, or not getting out on his own, all of those things we are still looking into,” Christensen said.
The temperature in American Fork at the time officials were called was 96 degrees.
Gephardt Daily has reached out to Roost Services for comment and will have more on this developing story as information is made available.