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Poll: Is It Possible To Accidentally Leave A 4 Year Old Child In A Car For 17 Hours?

Posted by Casey on June 14, 2008

Take the polls to your left in the left sidebar … read the background right below.

Here in Las Vegas we have a tragic story about a 4 year old child that was forgotten in the families SUV for 17 hours … from 2:30pm-8:30am. Unfortunately, little Jason died.

The media was taking the stance that this was yet another tragic accident until AM 840 KXNT’s afternoon hosts cried fowl play. Suddenly, the media cover changed drastically. Up until that point the father had only given one radio interview that same morning, and no one else in local media called it a possible homicide. You can listen to the father’s responses to questions about how this could have happened here. I would like to point out that this was the next day after Jason was found dead, and the family already had a trust set up in Jason’s name. More on that later.

The interview is extremely telling, but this isn’t about my opinion … it’s about yours.

The father, Stan Rimer, said Jason’s death was a “tragic mistake.” When he was asked how he didn’t know his son was missing Rimer replied with:

“No one ever said anybody was missing or anything. We usually keep Sundays a quiet day, and one got away from us.”

He was then asked how the boy was overlooked at dinner time.

“They usually go in and grab for themselves, and nobody ever mentioned Jason not coming to the table,” Rimer said.

In the family of eight, Rimer said the older brother usually watches out for the younger ones.

“He generally will tell us anything that’s wrong. I trusted that he saw all them. And it never crossed my mind we had one dying in the car,” Rimer said.

Rimer said they’re all devastated, and they hope people understand no one intended for this to happen.

“I want everybody to look at all the good things that we’ve done for 21 years for our kids,” he said.

There were at least three calls to Child Protective Services before this incident.

The family said they believe those were from their estranged daughter.

No one said anything? No one is responsible for feeding a 4 year old child? The 14 year old son was responsible for all of this? Perhaps the estranged daughter was trying to warn everyone when she called CPS three times. I’m curious as to why she is estranged, but no media outlet has been able to track her down yet. Even if you assume that the boy could have gone unnoticed for the whole day … someone prepares this child’s dinner every night. Four year olds don’t make their own dinner, and yet no one noticed? How about when he was supposed to take a bath, brush his teeth, say his nightly prayers (family is religious), and be tucked into bed? Is the father saying that they don’t monitor any of that? What kind of parent doesn’t check on their child before bed, and say good night?

The family was also denied getting their other children back on Wednesday by a family court, but will have another chance on Monday.

Here’s the family spokesman on the case:

“It’s a tragic accident. It could happen to anyone,” Rimer family spokesman Michael Gonzalez said Wednesday morning outside Family Court.

Gonzalez said the home was in a state of disarray when the family came home from church about 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

The family was having carpets cleaned, and all of the beds and mattresses were propped against the walls.

He said the family members slept “campstyle” around the television that night as the youngest son remained in the family’s sport utility vehicle in the driveway.

If you ask me … the spokesman just confirmed my suspicions. First of all, this couldn’t happen to anyone as he claimed. I personally can’t fathom forgetting a child for a few minutes let alone 17 hours. Second, all of the carpet cleaning in the world is no excuse to lose track of your kids. I would also like to point out that CPS took the other children based on the house being a dirty mess. I’m willing to bet that CPS knows the difference between a dirty house, and one that is waiting for the carpet guy. Even the family’s spokesman said the house was dirty.

“With seven kids in the house, how could you not be messy?” Gonzalez said.

Finally, the nail in the coffin, the family sat “campfire style” around the TV that night. Can anyone explain how it’s possible to have the whole family sitting around the TV “campfire style” without noticing that you are short your youngest child?

There is also another twist in the case. The family is disputing that Jason was a disabled child. The problem is that several family friends from their church spoke to the media the day Jason was found dead, and said he had mental disabilities. The family spokesman even jumped onto the comments section of one of the media reports to say that Jason wasn’t disabled, and that he didn’t know where “Jerry Springer” comments like that came from. Well Mr. Gonzalez, they came from the family’s friends and neighbors.

Neighbors who didn’t want to give their names said Jason was in a wheelchair every time they saw him.

But Gonzalez said while Jason did have a learning and developmental disability, he never used a wheelchair and required no special needs.

Now why would neighbors say Jason was usually in a wheelchair if he was never in one, and why would churchgoing friends of the Rimers say Jason was mentally disabled?

The father and spokesman have promised an exclusive sit down interview with AM 840 KXNT when things “settle down.” We’ll know more about their stance then.

In the meantime, I figured I would put together two polls asking you guys what you think. Is it possible to forget a 4 year old child in a car for 17 hours? And what punishment should the parents face, if any, in your opinion. Both polls are at the top left of this website in the left sidebar.

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8 Responses to “Poll: Is It Possible To Accidentally Leave A 4 Year Old Child In A Car For 17 Hours?”

  1. I just hope that the following didn’t do this on purpose. I have two sons (2 years and almost 3 months) and, while at times they drive me crazy, I just don’t see how someone could try to do something like this on purpose…

  2. Casey said

    Can you really see how this would be an accident? Frankly, the possibility of this being a tragic mistake is the least likely of the two scenarios. Especially when you consider dinner time, and that the family all slept around the TV that night “campfire style.”

  3. Chuck Wicker said

    In a large family such as they appear to have, I can understand not having eyes on all the kids at the same time, including the smaller ones. However, that being said, as a parent myself, I can’t come to grips with the fact that they didn’t bother to go check on him at all in 17 hours. If I don’t have eyes on my 3 year old every five minutes, I’m up looking for him. Now due to my time working with law enforcement, I know the whole innocent until proven guilty thing so I don’t want to convict them just yet. That’s not my place. They should, without a doubt, be arrested, the other kids removed which apparently has already happened, and at the very least, be charged with negligent homicide or the local agency’s equivalent. That would likely be pleaded down to a lesser charge, I’m sure, but I just can’t see how they could justify doing that or letting them walk scott free. Sure, accidents happen and mistakes are made, but this is inexcusable and should be punished to fullest extent of the law.

  4. Jodi J. said

    When people choose to drink and drive and then they “accidentally” kill someone, it’s involuntary manslaughter. Nobody gets behind a steering wheel intoxicated with the intention of hurting someone, but it’s still considered unintentional murder. This is NO different. These parents should be charged with gross negligence and involuntary manslaughter for murdering their own child. There is absolutely no excuse for this! A precedence absolutely needs to be set for this type of behavior. Far too many negligent parents have already gotten away with murder by reason of forgetfulness….I believe that charging these monsters with a crime will prevent other parents from “forgetting” about their children in the future.

  5. Susan M said

    I can not understand how you can forget one of your kids. I have 2 boys, a 2 month old and a 20 month old. I never would forget one of them they are my world. I take them out of the car before I do go inside. I even put my diaper bag in the middle of them so I have to get into the back seat, to insure I don’t forget one of them. I think you would have noticed that your 4 year old was missing, How could you not, unless you are neglecting your kids. Where were they when he was supposed to get his bath, or go to bed. Do they not hug and kiss their kids goodnight. I would still give my boys a hug and kiss goodnight when they are a teenager just because that is how I am. I am still in shock that he was left in the car for 17 hours, you would think someone would have noticed he was gone.

  6. Shayla said

    I can understand that leaving your kid in the car for like five minutes but 17 hours!! thats a big difference there. I remember when my mom would get out of the car and lock the doors and go inside the come back out and get me but that was all for like 5 min. but how the hell could you forget your child like that. And if the house was messy then how could the carpets be cleaned? do they have proof of this? maybe like oh i dont know…maybe a receipt? and another thing is that why would you make your oldest responisble for all the other children? their children as well and its not their place to play parents. if you had sex got pregnant and watched your child be born thenm that ulitmately makes you the parent not your oldest child. i think that they should not get back their children and they should be punished to the max!!!!!!! there a saying that goes “ANYONE CAN GIVE HAVE CHILDREN, BUT IT TAKES A SPECIAL PERSON TO BE A PARENT!” i guess that they werent that special.

  7. I’m sure you guys have heard that the parents were arrested today (25 June 08) on 2nd degree murder as 5 counts of child endangerment.

  8. […] You can read the previous post here. […]

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