Burleson boy with autism dies after wandering into hot car

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A 5-year-old boy died, Sunday afternoon, a short time after he was found in a hot car.

Burleson Police were dispatched to the 2700 block of Lakeside Drive just after 1:00 p.m. in reference to a missing child who hadn’t been seen in 15 minutes.

The child’s father told police he could not find his son Zachary Elshaarawy, who has autism and doesn’t speak clearly.

His father says Zachary climbed into his mother’s car which was parked out front of his grandparents’ home, where he was staying.

After police and a dozen citizens searched the home, the area around the lake and along Hwy 174, Zachary was located. He was found in the backseat passenger side of his mother’s 1998 Ford Taurus, parked in the street in front of the home, by an officer.

He was believed to be in there for over 30 minutes. Police say he wandered from the home and got into the car on his own. It was approximately 100 degrees at the time of the search.

According to his father, Zachary has gotten out of the house before.

The boy was taken to Cook Children’s with CPR in progress at 2:05 p.m. His father says he died a short time later.

His father tells us that Zachary was set to start kindergarten Monday. Although, he said his only son was bullied and teased for being autistic. 

"Maybe this was his way of ending the pain," Zachary's father says.

The investigation is ongoing.