Police continue investigation into accidental death of 8-month-old left in car

Police continue investigation into accidental death of 8-month-old left in car
Marvin Mercer (Source: East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office)
Marvin Mercer (Source: East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office)

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Investigators are working to find out more about what led up to the accidental death of an 8-month-old girl, who died Wednesday afternoon after being left in a hot car.

Baton Rouge Police said Raylee Mercer was left in the car by her father, 31-year-old Marvin Mercer, for two hours while he was coaching at Madison Preparatory Academy.

He told police he was supposed to drop her off at daycare on his way to work, but forgot and went straight to work. According to the probable cause report, he realized he left his daughter in vehicle when he returned to go to lunch.

Investigators were back in the parking lot of that school Thursday afternoon, taking photographs of what appears to be the same car that Raylee was left inside.

The white Nissan Altima was towed back to the parking lot so police could apparently recreate the scene as part of their investigation.

The East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner's Office has officially ruled the death of the 8-month-old accidental.

According EBR Parish Coroner Dr. William "Beau" Clark, preliminary tests show that Raylee died from hyperthermia.

"Hyperthermia, obviously, is when your body temperature gets elevated to a point that the organs in the systems of the body no longer can function," Clark said.

Mercer was arrested and taken to the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison where he was booked with negligent homicide. He has since bonded out.

School officials told said that Marvin Mercer has been working at Madison Prep for around four years as a baseball coach and math teacher.

Parents and school employees all declined to comment on camera, but principal Alisa Welsh released a statement, saying that they are going to respect the privacy of the family during this difficult time.

When police finish their investigation, they will forward their results to the East Baton Rouge District Attorney's Office, who will determine whether or not if Mercer will be prosecuted.

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