Jun 20, 2018, 11:21 AM ET

Mississippi mom charged with second-degree murder in 10-month-old son's hot-car death

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A mother in southern Mississippi has been charged with second-degree murder after her 10-month-old son was left in a hot car and died, authorities said.

The child, Kash Barhonovich, died last Thursday after being left in his mother’s parked car for an unknown length of time outside her home, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday.

The temperature reached 90 degrees with a heat index of 98 degrees that day.

Kash's death was consistent with hyperthermia -- or having a body temperature greatly above normal -- the preliminary autopsy results show, according to the sheriff's office.

Elizabeth Marie Barhonovich, 28, of Vancleave, Mississippi, was jailed Tuesday without bond on the second-degree murder charge, the sheriff's office said. She made her first court appearance Wednesday morning, without an attorney, and did not enter a plea, the sheriff's office said.

PHOTO: Elizabeth Barhonovich was charged with second-degree murder after her 10-month-old son was left in a hot car and died.Jackson County Sheriffâ??s Office
Elizabeth Barhonovich was charged with second-degree murder after her 10-month-old son was left in a hot car and died.

Kash was one of at least 15 children to die from hot cars so far this year, after 43 died in 2017, according to kidsandcars.org

Another baby died Tuesday after being found in a hot car in Kingsland, Georgia, according to The Florida Times-Union. But authorities declined to confirm the place or cause of the baby's death, citing a pending autopsy report, Donald Belcher of the Kingsland Police Department told ABC News.

PHOTO: A 7-month-old was found dead in a hot car in Camden County, Georgia.WJXX
A 7-month-old was found dead in a hot car in Camden County, Georgia.

In general, it takes little time for a car to get too hot for babies and kids.

Children's bodies heat up much faster than adults' do and children's internal organs begin to shut down after their core body temperature reaches 104 degrees, according to a report from the National Safety Council.

On an 86-degree day, for example, it would take only about 10 minutes for the inside of a car to reach a dangerous 105 degrees, the report said.

News - Mississippi mom charged with second-degree murder in 10-month-old son's hot-car death

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  • Karen Phillips-Barrick

    her punishment is SHE needs to be locked in a car just like she locked her child in the car and see what happens. Enough with these parents killing babies already..

  • Vanessa Thomas

    They wouldn't forget their CELL PHONE....

  • Get_Down

    No crowd-funding campaign event with objective "To raise fund to prevent little ones from dying in a hot-car or drowning in a pool" yet? I'm disappointed...You know what? If the adults don't yalda yalda talking on their cell-phones nor so busy doing stuff on their social media sites nor paying their attention somewhere else...and instead paying attention strictly only to their little ones all the time - then their little ones would not be forgotten or "get away from their guardians" - i.e., No crowd-funding ever needed!

  • Barbara Quinn

    I object to the"heartfelt" message from the mother that warns that it could happen to me too! I don't think so.i remember when I was a stressed mom of 3, always running behind getting them to school and daycare. Not once did I ever"forget" any of them. I don't even see how it could happen. I was always talking, singing songs to them, etc. Even as babies. So that just tells me that they were"forgotten" from the time they were loaded.How sad that they were no more important than a fast food wrapper. I don't care what their lame excuses are, they should be prosecuted. (And not just the lower income parents.) And for the ones that get a free pass, please refrain from telling the rest of us how it could happen to us too, as a way of making yourself feel better.

  • Indy

    Don't understand why some parents get charged for the deaths of the children that have been left in their cars and some do not, and why are they charged with so many different levels of homicide when so many of the crimes are so alike, the charges seem to change from county to county or state to state? Guess there's no legal standard for allowing one's child to die by leaving them in a hot car in America, be it a mistake or not.

  • Mike D

    Many couples this has happened to, say they have never heard of it happening to anyone else before. Do they ever read or watch the news?

  • jodie shields

    I did not listen to where (store, apartment building) this was at. If a store, then she purposefully left the baby in the car. Not an accident. Since she put the baby in the car to go to the store, she knows she has the baby.

  • barry mcdougalson

    has anyone brought up the ridiculous "leave your cell phone next to your child so you don't forget your baby" tactic yet?

  • wane

    Hang this KD Lang wanna be.

  • John Smith

    How do you forget you have a kid and where you left them? I think if a person is this stupid society doesn't need them around anyway polluting up the gene pool.

  • Gargos

    "In general, it takes little time for a car to get too hot for babies and kids."

    The fact that this needs to stated in this day and age is what's really sad. As if people climbing into their hot cars multiple times a day wasn't enough evidence that yes, it does in fact get hot inside cars.

  • Mary Yancey Kelbell

    Yes it should be negligent homicide for every forgotten child. All you need to do is place your cell phone or purse so you have to reach over the child to get them. That way you won't forget even a sleeping child. (I was lucky my little girl was a big talker, I always knew she was in the car.) But if your kid falls asleep after a few minutes on the road, they are easier to forget. It's usually the parent who doesn't normally transport the child who forgets them. say Dad is taking to daycare just this once.

  • ycplum

    Can anyone see what the woman is using to try and break the glass? A tire iron should punch through the side windows no problem. Actually, anything hard and sharp should work.

  • Siestasis42

    It is about time these neligent parents were arrested and prosecuted. I bet she remembered her phone.

  • CRJ

    Another child's death blamed on parental forgetfulness. I am very happy to see there's a murder charge, as there should be with every single hot car death. There is no excuse, and the deaths will continue until all states adopt a zero tolerance, and automatic murder charge for every incident.

  • Peter

    Her car, her choice.... or something to that effect.

  • Lilium Inter Spinas

    What breaks my heart is that we ABSOLUTELY have the technology to prevent this kind of thing. Unfortunately, far too many parents throw their nose up and declare such things to be "for idiots and bad parents, which I am neither."

  • unusual

    How do you not know where your kids are for hours at a time? Don't parents check on their kids anymore to make sure they're okay - haven't fallen out of bed, kicked the blanket off, sneaked out the back door, crawled into the dishwasher - that sort of thing? I can almost see a momentary lapse but not an extended one.

  • rontron

    In todays cars if you leave the key in the ignition you get a warning alert. Perhaps the auto industry can do the same for child seats if the child is left in it.

  • Dicazi

    Is there an indication this wasn't an accident?

  • Red Hawk

    Pets much less children should NEVER be put in a locked car in the heat. I've called the police after seeing dogs locked up in hot cars. This woman needs serious prison time.

  • Blue Wave

    Lock her *** up in a black van with no windows parked in the middle of Death Valley for eight hours.

  • DenaliGal

    Good. I don't buy the "I'm too busy/stressed" excuse. It's time to start charging people and maybe people will focus more on not forgetting their kids and less on not forgetting their cell phone.

  • Prophet With Honor

    This needs to be done, no more excuses.

  • Don'tBotherMe

    Will she use the "I forgot I had a baby" defense?