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Father Whose Son Died in Hot Car Is Hospitalized

In the accidental cases, "a lot of times, looking at the circumstances, it's when there's a change of routine with the parents," Null said. Busy parents can use reminders: Put a stuffed animal in the front passenger seat, or a purse or briefcase in the back beside the car seat, he said.

Coulter said he did not know the Harrisons' routine for taking Chase to day care. The day care where Miles Harrison was supposed to stop is along the route from Purcellville to Herndon, where he works as managing director of a real estate consulting firm, he said.

A police search of the Yukon found a laundry ticket, a Palm phone and a Gerber sippy cup with clear liquid, among other items, according to court documents.

Yevgeniy V. Khorishko, press officer for the Russian Embassy, said consulate officials are "trying to figure out the details of this accident."

"We are in contact with U.S. officials in this case," Khorishko said. Russian officials are also working to determine whether the boy still had Russian citizenship, he said.

Morrogh said the decision to charge Harrison with manslaughter followed an impartial look at the facts. Murder was out because there was no intent, he said. While states have a hodgepodge of practices on whether or not to charge in such cases, doing so seems appropriate here, he said.

"From where I sit, I have to enforce the law, and the law places certain requirements on people when it comes to many things, especially with children," Morrogh said. "It's just such an emotional thing, and rightly so. As a parent myself, I can't imagine. It's just a tragedy all the way around."

Staff researcher Meg Smith contributed to this report.

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