In a scenario that has played out dozens of times nationwide, a father of a 9-month-old girl left her in her car seat while he went into a Target store to shop.
A passerby heard the baby crying and called 911. When emergency crews and police arrived, the man had just returned to his car. He said he'd been away for about 15 minutes. The girl was uninjured.
"He told officers that he forgot the child was in the backseat," said Davis Police Lt. Ton Phan.
Aaron Anderson lives nearby and has a 2-year-old son. He said he doesn't want to prejudge some one who may have had unknown issues to deal with.
Statistics show that men are slightly more likely to forget that children are in their car because they are often distracted and often dealing with a change of routines of driving children around.
"Everyone is trying to balance a lot of things, it's a busy life," Anderson said.
Still, he said he finds it hard to understand how someone forgot about their infant daughter.
"You can't forget your kids ... it's very hard to believe," Anderson said.
Davis police say they've had other parents admit that they were distracted enough to forget their kids were in the car.
"It's still not an excuse, you still need to be paying attention, you're a parent, take responsibility for that person who are unable to fend for themselves in the back seat," Phan said.
Police will be reviewing surveillance video to see if the man was really gone for 15 minutes.
The Yolo County District Attorney will determine if felony child endangerment charges will be filed.
Each year, about 37 children die in hot cars after being forgotten by caregivers, primarily in the summer months.