Florida infant dies in 109-degree mobile home; Father charged

William Hendrickson (Courtesy: WFLA)

LARGO, Fla. (WFLA) – A Largo man is charged with aggravated manslaughter of a child after police say his 8-month old son was found unresponsive in a mobile home where the temperature was 109 degrees.

Largo Police Department officers arrested William Francis Hendrickson, age  25, on Thursday evening.

Investigators say officers responded to the home at 12:30 p.m. to assist Pinellas County Child Protection Investigators with a welfare check of two children at the King’s Manor Mobile Home Park, 1399 S. Belcher Rd.

Upon arrival, officers found an 8-month-old boy who was unresponsive due to extreme heat in the trailer.

After calling for Largo Fire Rescue paramedics, Officer Albin Soto immediately began infant CPR on the child.

Officer Soto was later relieved by paramedics, who continued resuscitation efforts. The child was pronounced dead at the scene.

Largo police detectives began an investigation into the circumstances of the boy’s death.

Probable cause was found for the arrest of the children’s father, William Francis Hendrickson, for Aggravated Manslaughter in the death of his son and Child Neglect for the condition of his 2-year-old daughter, who was transported to All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg due to severe dehydration.

According to detectives, Hendrickson had been previously told by social services not to leave the children in the hot environment of the bedroom. Detectives recorded the temperature in the mobile home’s bedroom at 109 degrees at 1 p.m. Thursday afternoon.

Online jail booking records show Hendrickson was booked into the Pinellas County Jail on the felony charges at 7:21 p.m. Thursday. His bond is set at $150,000.

Largo police would like to remind citizens of the dangers of Florida’s high temperatures in confined or poorly ventilated spaces, especially for children, the elderly, and those with special medical concerns. Be aware of the signs of dehydration, heat stress, and heat stroke and take steps to prevent them.