3-year-old Kaiden Garner, who was originally thought to have died of heat exposure, may actually be the result of an unrelated homicide — according to police.
Kaiden, who lived in Florence, Alabama, was believed to have died August 12 from being in a hot vehicle. But according to new evidence, it has been found that the original story may not be true after further investigation shows the cause of death does not fit.
Kaiden’s death was originally reported as a case of possible heat exposure.
Police responded to a call at the North Alabama Medical Center’s Emergency Room around 11:25 p.m. Crime Online reported.
Florence Police Department Lt. Wes Gargis revealed to People how police were originally informed that Kaiden “had been in a vehicle most of the day.”
“This is information coming in at midnight in the midst of a chaotic event. That was the original information we gathered,” he said.
Gargis revealed how Kaiden had been brought to the hospital after being discovered in a vehicle in an apartment complex’s parking lot.
An autopsy then revealed how the case was not as black and white as authorities originally believed. Kaiden had actually died as the result of blunt force trauma.
“Our investigation is when it was determined that it was possibly not heat-related and then, after the preliminary results from the autopsy, it was confirmed that the death wasn’t related to heat,” Gargis said.
Police now consider Kaiden’s death to be a homicide.
The officer shared with Crime Online that Kaiden was “visiting with his father in the days leading up to his death,” and witnesses saw Kaiden and his father together in the “1300 block of Carver Circle on the night of his death.”
“This area is a common gathering place for members of the community and it is believed that other members of our community may have been in the area and may have important information to our ongoing investigation,” Gargis said.
Police still are not certain how long Kaiden was in the car before he died. Gargis revealed to People how police are “still trying to piece all of that together.”
“We don’t have all the answers right now,” he said. “I wish we had more.”