Flagler County boy recovering after being found in hot car

13-year-old sister calls 911 after boy missing

By Loren Korn - Reporter

PALM COAST, Fla. - A 4-year-old boy is now recovering after he was found in a hot car on Sunday afternoon.

"I was terrified," said Roger Leigh, a next door neighbor.

Leigh said he had no idea where Lawton Lapete disappeared to after Lawton's 13-year-old sister woke up to find him missing and called 911.

Caller: "I was just laying down and he said he was going to get Batman. I don't know where he wandered off too."
Dispatch: "When's the last time you saw him?"
Caller: "I saw him like an hour ago."

Deputies quickly arrived to Blakefield Drive and started searching the home and then the jeep. They said Lawton was in the backseat, sweaty and unconscious, with temperatures way over 100 degrees inside the vehicle.

"He had been in the car for over an hour. Imagine in the sunlight, direct sunlight, no air circulation whatsoever and it's more like a microwave oven. You're just baking inside there," said Jim Troiano, spokesperson for the Flagler County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies said they rushed Lawton to a water spigot on the side of the house to cool him down and then started CPR. He was then taken to a hospital in Jacksonville.

Investigators said there was no criminal wrongdoing when the 13-year-old watched her baby brother, and it was just a tragic accident.

"We're not looking into any foul play. We believe the child came into the car on his own didn't know how to get out," said Troiano.

The Lapete family tells Local 6 that Lawton should be out of the ICU Monday night and will be home in a couple of days.

The Flagler County Sheriff's Office also said its very proud of the sister for calling 911, saying she did what she was supposed to do.

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