SPOKANE, Wash. -- Police confirmed Thursday that a young boy was found dead in the trunk of a car Wednesday.
Zander (his parents requested that his last name not be used), 5, was supposed to play with a neighbor around 11:00 a.m. according to authorities. They said a nanny noticed Zander was missing but assumed he had left to play.
“It was never uncommon for him to say I'm going to my friends and walk out the door and go up the street and play and come back in an hour. He always came back,” said Zander’s father, Matthew.
Zander's’ parents returned home around 5:00 p.m. to find that the boy was still gone.
“It was never not normal. He was always up there playing,” said Matthew.
Zander’s father said he did not think twice about his son’s whereabouts until he went looking for the camping gear which was in the trunk of his vehicle. Matthew said the trunk would not open from the rear of the Mazda 626. Anna went to access the trunk through the back seat and found Zander.
“We don't know how long he was there. We don't know how, why he went in there,” said Matthew.
Medics arrived on scene, but Zander was already deceased. They believe the boy became unconscious while in the trunk and stopped breathing.
Emergency crews at the scene estimated the temperature inside the trunk was about 123 degrees. The death is under investigation. Authorities said that is standard procedure for unattended deaths.
Zander's grandparents described the boy as “smart and full of life.” The five-year-old was ready to celebrate his birthday in September according to his parents. He was the youngest of four kids.