NAVAL AIR STATION PATUXENT RIVER, Md. (WJLA/AP) - The Naval Criminal Investigation Service, commonly known as NCIS, arrested the father of a 17-month-old boy who was found dead in a car on a military base in St. Mary's County.
John Junek, 40, of Leonardtown appeared in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt for arraignment on Thursday afternoon on a charge of involuntary manslaughter.
Junek showed little emotion as he said "Yes, your honor," when asked whether he understood his rights.
The judge released Junek to the custody of his parents. Junek's attorney said the family wants Junek to live with his parents because it would have been difficult for him to return to his own home after his son's death.
As he left the courtroom, his gaze lingered in the direction of his family. His attorney said Junek was devastated and grieving over the death.
The unresponsive infant was discovered around 3:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station in the back of a vehicle that was parked at building 2187 (the IPT Building).
Efforts by local firefighters to revive the boy were unsuccessful; the young child was pronounced dead by emergency medical crews a short time later.
Authorities told ABC7 News that the baby was left in the car by Junek, who works on the base. He was arrested and charged in the death after investigators concluded the boy had apparently been in the vehicle for seven hours with temperatures of up to 85 degrees.
In a court documents filed Thursday (see below), an NCIS investigator said Junek told authorities he was supposed to have dropped off the boy at a daycare center on the base, but failed to do so. The affidavit also claims Junek drove his car twice during the day, to and from a meeting on the base, and did not notice that the boy was still in the car.Hot Car Death court documents