updated 7/7/2007 7:22:34 AM ET 2007-07-07T11:22:34

A 2-year-old boy died after his teenage uncle left him in a car for five hours as temperatures soared, authorities said Friday.

The child’s uncle, Noe Vargas, 18, was charged with child endangerment causing death.

He picked up his nephew, Steven Saavedra, from his sister’s house on Thursday afternoon, police said.

The child wanted to get into his mother’s car in the parking lot, and Vargas left him inside to play and walked to his home nearby, police Capt. Todd Erskine said.

Vargas and the boy’s mother, Cecilia Vargas, found the toddler dead in the car five hours later. Paramedics determined the child had been dead for some time.

The temperature Thursday afternoon was in the upper 80s with a heat index of more than 90 degrees. Erskine said the child’s body was taken to the state medical examiner’s office for an autopsy. He did not know when an autopsy would be performed.

Vargas was being held in jail under $32,500 bond. If convicted, Vargas could face up to 50 years in prison.

It wasn’t immediately known whether he had an attorney.

In Idaho, a 1-year-old boy was found dead Wednesday evening in a locked car in temperatures topping 95 degrees. He was locked in the car for about five hours when passers-by noticed him, and the boy’s stepgrandmother was charged in his death, authorities said.

The woman told police she forgot about the youngster after going inside a male friend’s house and falling asleep, according to court documents. A coroner conducted a preliminary investigation and determined the child’s death was consistent with heat stroke.

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