Infant Dies in Hot Car After Father Forgets to Drop Her off at Daycare

A one-year-old girl passed away on Saturday after she was left in a hot car in the Nashville, Tennessee area.

Nashville Metro Police have identified the young girl as Katera Barker. According to a report by the Tennessean, the police are continuing to investigate the tragic death. So far, they reportedly have reason to believe that the child's father, Matt Barker, left her in her car seat by mistake.

Barker left the family home on Virginia Avenue at around 7:30 a.m., according to detectives. He had both of his children with him -- Katera, and his five-year-old -- and intended to drop them off at a day care facility on Chapel Avenue. Police say he returned home at around 8 a.m.

Just a few minutes after parking back at home, Barker left in a hurry using a ride share service. He went to the airport, where he left the city on a business trip. Police say his wife, Jenny Barker, left for work in her own vehicle.

It wasn't until Wednesday evening that Jenny Barker went to pick up her children at the daycare facility, only to be told that Katera had never been dropped off. Police say she called 9-1-1 at 5:42 p.m., just as she pulled into her driveway. She performed CPR on on the one-year-old until paramedics arrived, and Katera was taken to Vanderbilt Children's Hospital. She was pronounced dead on arrival.

Matt Barker reportedly returned to Nashville late on Wednesday night. Police said that the Barker family has been fully cooperative with their investigation. No charges have been filed yet, though police noted that the District Attorney's Office is receiving updates as the investigation goes on.

As always, the beginning of the hot season has brought about the national conversation on leaving children, pets or any other living things unattended inside of hot cars. Heatstroke can begin extremely fast in the summertime.


According to, an average of 37 children die heat-related deaths after being trapped inside of vehicles each year. Parents or guardians often forget sleeping babies in the back seat, or else believe they'll be in and out of a store so quickly that it won't matter.

In addition, children can sometimes climb into hot vehicles and become trapped there on their own. Kids playing outside may sneak into a parked car as part of a game or exploration. It's not impossible for them to hit the lock button and be unsure of how to get out. Many organizations urge parents to take the initiative and discuss this hazard with their kids at the beginning of the summer.