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Baby dies after being left in car in Intel parking lot

A six-month-old baby girl left unattended in a car for six hours in an Intel parking lot Thursday has died, and investigators are looking into whether to charge her father with child neglect or other crimes.

The infant’s father, a 38-year-old Portland resident who was not named Tuesday by authorities, reported his daughter unresponsive around 5 p.m. Oct. 16, according to Lt. Mike Rouches, spokesman for the Hillsboro Police Department.

Police and fire personnel were called to Intel’s Jones Farm campus on Northeast 25th Avenue in Hillsboro and performed CPR on the baby. She was transported to Tuality Community Hospital, where she died around 5:15 p.m., Rouches said.

Det. Cheryl Banks, a child abuse investigator with HPD, interviewed the child’s parents Thursday night. Rouches said the father may have become distracted with his duties at work and forgotten the child was in the car.

“So far it’s looking like the dad didn’t have intent to harm the baby,” said Rouches. “This man was very earnest, very distraught.”

The father, who works as an engineer at Intel, was “out of his routine” when he arrived at Intel Thursday, Rouches added. Whatever schedule he was on “was not like he usually does his day.”

Police will wait to hear from the state medical examiner’s office about the child’s cause of death before deciding whether to convene a grand jury for a potential indictment.

“We have no element of a crime at this point,” Rouches said. “What we have now is simply two parents who have a dead baby.”

It was not clear by Friday morning whether exposure was a factor in the baby’s death. The high temperature in Hillsboro Thursday afternoon was in the low 70s, but heat inside the vehicle could have been a factor.

“We’ll look at how hot it was in the car based on its color, size and shape,” Rouches said.

He noted the investigation could take several weeks. In the meantime, Rouches seemed to be going with a theory the death was an unintentional tragedy.

“I believe [the father] forgot. I don’t believe he thought, ‘I’m going to go in and leave my child for hours and it will be OK,’” Rouches said.

Still, he added, “Sometimes simply forgetting is not an excuse.”