2-year-old dies after being left to roast in hot car parked at children’s hospital while parents were inside being arrested for abusing 3-year-old: Police

Deja Rollins and Justin Rollins (Jacksonville Police Dept.) and Arkansas Children

Deja Rollins and Justin Rollins (Jacksonville Police Dept.) and Arkansas Children’s Hospital (YouTube/KTHV)

A married couple in Arkansas are facing a spate of felonies in connection with the death of their 2-year-old son, who died of apparent heat exhaustion after he and three of his siblings were left unattended in a hot car parked in the lot of a children’s hospital.

Justin Rollins and Deja Rollins — who were at the hospital with the 3-year-old child they’re accused of abusing — were taken into custody over the weekend and charged with one count each of capital murder in the death of young Jay’Dien Rollins, authorities announced.

According to news releases from the City of Little Rock and the Jacksonville Police Department, officers on the afternoon of Sunday, July 7, responded to a call about a 3-year-old patient at Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH) being a possible victim of child abuse and neglect. The 3-year-old suffered from injuries that required “urgent medical treatment,” Jacksonville Police said.

The parents were both arrested in connection to the alleged abuse inflicted upon the 3-year-old and police began inquiring as to whether the couple had any other children.

“During the investigation, officers discovered that the couple had four other children, ages 2, 4, 7, and 10,” Jacksonville Police said. “At the time of the parents’ arrest, Justin and Deja Rollins were not cooperative in providing the location of the other children.”

The kids were eventually located, as all four of them had accompanied their parents to the children’s hospital, authorities said.

At about 12:42 p.m., officers with the Little Rock Police Department were also dispatched to the children’s hospital and “made aware of a child abuse report from the Jacksonville Police Department involving Justin and Deja Rollins.”

Upon arriving at the facility, Little Rock officers were contacted by hospital security guards who advised they had received a call from Jacksonville Police at about 12:30 p.m. informing them of four children trapped inside of a vehicle in the parking lot. The temperature outside reached a high of 92 degrees in Little Rock that day.

Police and security located the vehicle and removed all of the victims from the hot vehicle. All four children appeared to be suffering from heat exhaustion and were taken inside the hospital for treatment while police observed.

Despite receiving medical treatment at the hospital, the couple’s 2-year-old son — later identified as Jay’Dien — succumbed to his injuries on Monday and was pronounced dead. Homicide detectives began a death investigation and executed search warrants and submitted a probable cause affidavit to the Pulaski County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

While searching the Rollins’ home, police said they found a malnourished dog which was placed into the care of Jacksonville Animal Services.

The Pulaski County Coroner retrieved Jay’Dien’s body from the hospital and transported it to the Arkansas State Crime Lab where an autopsy will be conducted.

In addition to the capital murder charges, Deja and Justin Rollins are each facing five counts of first-degree domestic battery, five counts of neglecting a vulnerable person, five counts of endangering the welfare of a minor, one count of animal cruelty, and one count of obstructing government operations.

The couple are currently being held in the Pulaski County Jail without bond, records show. It was not immediately clear when they were scheduled to appear in court.

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