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This stufff is just getting worst and worst!!! Were they drunk??

Posted by on Apr. 19, 2010 at 10:37 PM
  • 45 Replies

Antioch baby girl dies after being left in car

Henry K. Lee, Chronicle Staff Writer

Monday, April 19, 2010

(04-19) 19:07 PDT ANTIOCH -- Sofia Wisher, all of 7 months old, was sitting in her car seat in her parents' Toyota station wagon when the family pulled up to their Antioch home late Saturday after doing laundry at a relative's home. Each parent thought the other would be taking Sofia inside.

Tragically, neither did.

Sofia spent the night in the car and was still strapped in her seat when her 25-year-old father, identified by neighbors and public records as Cameron Wisher, awoke at noon Sunday and went to the gym, authorities said.

When the infant's 26-year-old mother, Sara Wisher, woke up and realized at about 2 p.m. that her baby wasn't in her crib, she frantically called the In-Shape Sport Club on Lone Tree Way, less than two miles away. Alerted by gym staff, the father ran to the car.

It was too late. Little Sofia was dead after being left alone for more than 14 hours, police said Monday.

The car's windows were up, said police Lt. Leonard Orman. An autopsy will be conducted to determine the cause of the girl's death.

Even though the high temperature Sunday afternoon was 78 degrees, the temperature inside the station wagon probably topped 110 degrees, Orman said. The low Sunday morning was 52 degrees, police said.

No evidence of neglect

Authorities said the investigation was in its preliminary stages and that it was too soon to say whether either parent could face prosecution. But Orman said, "All indications at this point are that this is not a case of ongoing neglect." The parents were distraught when they were interviewed by police and have been tested for drugs and alcohol, authorities said.

The couple could not be reached for comment Monday.

"Our investigation continues, and upon its completion the case will be presented to the DA," Orman said. "They will decide at that time whether or not the neglect in this case rises to a criminal offense.

"I do not see a downside to publicizing the case," Orman added. "We see one or two of these cases a year in the Bay Area, and it might help prevent future tragedies."

Sofia had been in the seat since 11:30 p.m. Saturday, when the family returned to their three-bedroom home on Plumleigh Avenue after doing laundry, police said. The parents took their older daughter, who turned 2 in February, and the laundry out of the station wagon, but each thought the other was bringing Sofia inside, police said.

A light sleeper

The parents, both of whom work two jobs, went to bed about 3 a.m. Each saw the door to their infant's room closed and assumed the other had put her in her crib, Orman said.

The parents told police that Sofia was a "light sleeper, so it wasn't their practice to be going in there all night checking on her, because she'd wake up," Orman said.

After Sofia was found dead, Contra Costa's Child Protective Services agency placed the couple's 2-year-old daughter into protective custody, authorities said.

On her MySpace page, Sara Wisher said she was a freelance makeup artist, a video-game enthusiast and a "proud parent" who has also worked as a waitress.

"I guess I really just love music and absorbing what life has to bless me with and trying to learn my lessons as I go along," she wrote. "I'm a great wife and an even better woman and mother."

Neighbor Donna Hearth said Monday that the family has lived on her street for at least two years.

"I just think that they are a young family and perhaps a bit careless in the sense that it ended in complete tragedy," Hearth said. "It's something that could have been prevented, so it makes me horribly sad."

Avoiding tragedy

Child-safety experts say parents of such young children often are sleep-deprived. Nationally, an average of 36 children a year die when they are trapped in overheated cars. Some get into the cars on their own and some are intentionally left by parents, but the majority are forgotten by a parent or caregiver who fails to glance in the backseat.

Advocates say such reminders as keeping a stuffed animal in the car seat and placing it in the front seat when a child is in back can be a memory aid for a frazzled parent.

"One of the huge dangers, of course, with a 7-month-old, rear-facing in the back seat - the seat doesn't look any different if it's filled or not," said Janette Fennell, founder and president of Kids and Cars, a nonprofit group that promotes public education to prevent children from being killed in or near cars.

These types of tragedies have involved doting parents from all walks of life, including college professors and dentists, Fennell said.

"The biggest mistake that anybody can make in this situation is to think it can't happen to them or their family," Fennell said. "It can, and it does."

Prosecutors' choice

Prosecutors in similar tragedies have come to varying conclusions as to whether parents should face criminal charges.

In May 2007, Haley Sheri Wesley of Angwin in Napa County forgot that her 10-month-old daughter, Maddison, was in her car, and left her there when she went to work. The girl died, and Wesley was sentenced to probation after pleading guilty to misdemeanor child endangerment.

In July 2007, Danny Takemoto of Benicia forgot to drop off his 11-month-old son, Ian, at a day-care center and left him in the car for most of the day. Takemoto was arrested on suspicion of involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment after the boy died, but Contra Costa prosecutors never filed charges.

In June 2009, Alan Carey of El Cerrito left his 4-month-old son, Everett, in his car at BART's El Cerrito Plaza Station. The father was not charged.

Prosecutors in such situations consider such factors as the background of the parent and whether major distractions were involved.

Keeping children safe

Child-safety experts say even the most well-intentioned parents can forget about their children's presence in a car because of fatigue or changes in routine. For example, a parent who usually goes straight to day care may first go to the bank and then drive to work, having been distracted by that one detour. Authorities say there are a number of ways to remember when a small child is in the back seat:

-- Keep a stuffed animal in the car seat and place it in the front seat as a reminder whenever the child is in back.

-- Always place something in the backseat, such as a purse, lunch bag or windshield sunshade, that requires you to open the back door every time you park.

-- Ask your child-care provider to call you or other emergency contacts promptly if the child does not arrive by the normal time.


E-mail Henry K. Lee at

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by on Apr. 19, 2010 at 10:37 PM
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Replies (1-10):
by Ruby Member on Apr. 19, 2010 at 10:39 PM

Why are they acting like forgeting your kids in tthe car is normal???

by Baroness on Apr. 19, 2010 at 10:40 PM

 wow thats sooo sad!! but how can you go without checking on your baby for 14hrs?!

by on Apr. 19, 2010 at 10:41 PM

first off .. how the hell did you not notice your child not being in your HOUSE after a couple of minutes????

by on Apr. 19, 2010 at 10:44 PM

 If shes such a light sleeper, wouldnt she have woken up and started crying when they shut the car doors ? or when they got her out of the car seat wouldnt she make noise or not go to sleep right away when they got home if shes such a light sleeper ? Thats a LAME excuse and makes them look even more stupid .....

CafeMom TickersCafeMom Tickers


by Ruby Member on Apr. 19, 2010 at 10:45 PM

This has to be the most sympathetic article I have ever read.

by Ruby Member on Apr. 19, 2010 at 10:47 PM

Well I know she was not breast feeding because her boobs would have woke her up and told her to get her baby. Also she had a very easy going babies not one of mine slept that long without eatting at that age.

by on Apr. 19, 2010 at 10:49 PM


by on Apr. 19, 2010 at 10:49 PM

That would be my first guess, yeah.

by on Apr. 19, 2010 at 10:50 PM

They both need to be locked into a hot car for 14 hours and made to suffer what she did till they are dead. 

by on Apr. 19, 2010 at 10:51 PM

i read another article about this and i just don't buy it.  MAYBE they walk away from the car thinking the other had already gotten her out.  but you don't forget to feed, change, or put your kid to bed, so even a slip-up like that should be a matter of minutes, at most.  it doesn't get to be 2 in the afternoon and THEN you realize you haven't heard from your 7 month old in 14 hours.  sorry.  i'm generally not hard on parents who make an innocent mistake, but this was tragic negligence, IMO.

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