SAN JOSE -- Authorities on Monday identified a 9-month-old Los Gatos boy who died earlier this month after his father mistakenly left him in a hot car in West San Jose.

The infant, Giovanni Alonzo Hernandez, was discovered in a parked car on Payne Avenue the evening of April 16 when his father, who has not been named, finished his work day according to investigators.

Giovanni died from hyperthermia after his body temperature rose to fatal levels, authorities said.

His father told San Jose police that he was supposed to drop off Giovanni with a babysitter but forgot. The child was still strapped into his car seat several hours into a day when temperatures reached a peak of 79 degrees, which an expert said likely rose to triple digits inside the enclosed vehicle.

Homicide detectives investigated the case, which is routine procedure whenever a child dies in Santa Clara County, and the District Attorney's Office is tasked with deciding whether the incident warrants criminal charges.

According to Jan Null, a meteorologist and expert on heatstroke-related death in vehicles, there were 44 such juvenile deaths last year nationwide. Since 1998, there have been 606 deaths nationally, including 40 in California. The last time it happened in San Jose was July 2001 when a 5-month-old boy died; his father was convicted of involuntarily manslaughter and ordered to perform community service.

Contact Robert Salonga at 408-920-5002. Follow him at Twitter.com/robertsalonga.



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