Father charged after girl, 6, 'strangles baby brother to death with seatbelt'

Baytown Police

A six-year-old girl has strangled her one-year-old brother with a seatbelt in Texas after their father left them alone in the auto to do shopping.

Adrian Middleton, 26, left his one-year-old son and six-year-old daughter in the vehicle while he shopped at a store for over an hour on May 20 in Texas, local outlet KHOU11 reported based on court documents.

He told officers that he left the air conditioner on, put on a film, and gave them water and a snack while he went looking to buy clothes.

He initially told police he was only inside for 30-45 minutes but security footage placed him in the store for an hour longer. The child told investigators that she was playing with her brother and got angry when he wouldn't stop crying.

Recounting the events of May 20, the 6-year-old girl told officials she was playing with her brother in her father's vehicle.

No arrest has been made. The father also claimed he checked on his children through the store window.

That's when Middleton reportedly found his son unconscious with a seat belt wrapped around him. He called 911 and attempted CPR until the ambulance arrived. Middleton asked where her brother was and she said she had done "something bad".

The child later died at Texas Children's Hospital, and an autopsy ruled his death a homicide by strangulation. Court documents state the father claimed the children were strapped in their seats, but he later admitted in a second interview there were no auto seats for either child in the vehicle.

Middleton came forward to Baytown Police Department on Monday afternoon, nearly six months after the incident.

The incident was reported shortly after noon May 20 at The Family Thrift Store at 12001 East Freeway.

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