Infant and dog die in hot car, babysitter faces felony charges

NEWPORT NEWS, Virginia- In Newport News, an 11-month-old baby and a small dog were found dead after being left in a car for over six hours. A local woman, identified as the babysitter, has been taken into custody, according to law enforcement officials.

The incident came to light when a man arrived at Bon Secours Mary Immaculate Hospital’s emergency room, claiming to have a deceased child in his vehicle. Upon investigation, hospital staff discovered the lifeless body of the infant, later identified as Myrical Wicker, in a black plastic bag in the rear hatch of the car.

The child was under the care of 40-year-old Kristen Graham, who had been babysitting the child for about two days. Graham, who occasionally cared for the child for extended periods, is now facing charges of felony child neglect and animal cruelty. The child’s mother, a 17-year-old local resident, was not identified.

According to York-Poquoson Sheriff Ron Montgomery, the incident began when Graham received a call from a friend in the early hours of September 12. The friend requested cigarettes, prompting Graham to place the child and a small dog in her vehicle and drive to a convenience store. After purchasing the items and visiting the friend, Graham returned home around 8 a.m., leaving the child and the dog in the car.

Graham reportedly rolled up the car windows, turned off the vehicle, and went to sleep. She was awakened by a phone call around 2:30 p.m., at which point she discovered the child and the dog had died. The child was later transported to the hospital.

Graham was arrested at her residence and remains in custody at the Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail. Sheriff Montgomery indicated that the charges could potentially be upgraded to homicide pending the results of the child’s autopsy.