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Alabama grandfather is charged in hot car death of toddler, drove vehicle 3 times that day, prosecutor says

William Wiesman was charged with reckless manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide in the death of 2-year-old Ian.

An Alabama grandfather charged in connection with his grandson’s hot car death returned to the vehicle three times without realizing the 2-year-old boy was still inside, officials said.

Arrest warrants were issued Wednesday for William "Bill" Wiesman, one day after Ian Wiesman's death. The grandfather was charged with reckless manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide, according to documents provided by the Blount County District Attorney's Office.

Deputies were called to the parking lot of Kids Campus day care in Oneonta, about 40 miles northeast of Birmingham, and found Ian in a forward-facing car seat on the driver's side of Wiesman's truck.

Wiesman, 56, told deputies that he had been picking up the child and taking him to day care while the boy's mother recovered from hip surgery.

He said whenever he dropped Ian off, he would leave the car seat so Ian's aunt could pick him up in the afternoon and take him back home, the documents state. Wiesman told the deputies that he picked Ian up Tuesday around 7:55 a.m. and believed he had dropped off the child before heading to work.

District Attorney Pamela Casey said at a news conference Wednesday that she has a forward-facing car seat and it allows her to see her child from the rearview mirror.

Blount County District Attorney Pamela Casey speaks at a press conference on Sept. 21, 2022.
Blount County District Attorney Pamela Casey at a news conference Wednesday.WVTM

She told reporters that Wiesman got in his truck and drove it three times throughout the day on Tuesday.

Around 12:45 p.m., Wiesman left work and drove home to eat lunch, he told deputies. He said he remembers standing next to the truck, smoking a cigarette and playing a game on his cellphone before driving back to work, according to the documents.

Just before 3 p.m., Wiesman's daughter called him and asked where her son was. According to the documents, the aunt went to pick up Ian and was informed that the child had not been dropped off.

Wiesman insisted to his daughter that he took Ian to day care and then got in his truck and drove to Kids Campus.

"Upon arrival, Ian's aunt came out to the truck and found Ian deceased in the back-driver's seat of Wiesman's truck," the documents state.

Casey said Ian died from prolonged exposure to heat. Temperatures reached a high of 90 degrees on Tuesday.

Casey, a mother of two children, got emotional as she discussed the case.

"It’s awful when it happens anywhere. It’s awful when you have to work these cases and you go home to your babies ... it’s awful. My heart breaks for this family," she told reporters. "This family is very upset about what happened. As a mom, I don’t think anybody ever understands it. I didn’t sleep last night, I don’t understand it."

It's not clear if Wiesman has obtained an attorney.

There have been at least 26 hot car deaths this year, according to Kids and Car Safety. Three deaths, including Ian's, occurred nationwide on Tuesday, the organization said.