Posted at 05.00
A mother whose baby died of heat in a car shouts: she wants a device to signal the presence of a child in the back seat of a vehicle as soon as the engine is off. As summer and hot weather approach, Anaïs Perlot opens up for the first time about the death of her little Cassius.
“He was such a sweet boy, so clever, so lovely, so sweet,” recalls Anaïs Perlot, her voice crushed with grief. On June 22, it is four years since the 6-month-old toddler left in a car died.
That day, it was the father who was responsible for bringing his daughter to her last day in kindergarten and then her son in day care. He dropped off his oldest at school and then parked in a public parking lot near his work. It was 25 ℃ in Montreal. Late in the afternoon, the father went to day care, but staff announced that his son was absent. That was where he made the drama.
“It was the start of the holiday. I remember it as if it were yesterday,” says Anaïs Perlot.
I stood in line at the grocery store and was called up. As soon as I picked up, I immediately realized that something serious had happened. My ex-husband said to me, ‘You need to get to daycare quickly. I forgot Cassius in the car. All day.”
Anaïs Perlot jumped into a taxi and hurried to the CPE in Griffintown. As she entered the principal’s office, she saw her lifeless, bluish baby on a sofa, surrounded by police and firefighters. “He was there lying down. He had been given a small apple-green blanket. I took him in my arms. I held him glued to me. He looked like he was asleep. I was so angry at his father,” the mother says emotionally. .
After her examination, forensic pathologist M.e Julie A. Blondin concluded that the child had been “forgotten” and that the death was “accidental”. She notes that a child dies each year in Canada after being left in a vehicle overheated by the sun, according to a study from the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.
“This is a terrible drama for a parent. […] We must acquire social resources so that such a catastrophe does not happen again, ”she emphasizes in her report.
Me The blonde confirms that tools such as cameras, mirrors and sensors are already under the baby’s seat to prevent deaths.
If it is not possible to integrate a mechanism in new vehicles, “a simpler solution could be to equip the child seat with an alarm mechanism or to acquire a car seat equipped with such a device. If a child is left in a vehicle, an alarm will go off “Some of these devices will even send a message or call the driver’s phone,” she wrote in her report. She is not the first forensic pathologist in Quebec to make this recommendation.
Italy was the first country to make a safety alarm on the seat for all children under the age of 4 mandatory in the country’s motorway code. In his recommendations, the forensic pathologist urges Transport Canada to investigate the case. He did not respond to our request for an interview.
“It has to be done,” says Anaïs Perlot. »It can save babies’ lives. No one should go through what I went through, ”she adds.
“With today’s cars, if a baby starts crying, no one will hear it. And with tinted windows, no one will see it. We have to find a way so it does not happen again,” she claims.
Towards a criminal prosecution?
Four years after her son’s death, Anaïs Perlot still does not understand how her ex-husband could have forgotten their child in a car. “If someone is always thinking about their phone, thinking about never forgetting it wherever they go, but not asking the question with their child, that’s a problem for me,” she said.
Anaïs Perlot is considering filing a private complaint of criminal negligence against her son’s father. The latter told police he was “extremely tired” and “stressed” on the day of the tragedy and that his morning routine had just changed since his young child started going to daycare.
Mme Perlot believes, however, that it was not an accident and that the police should have pushed their investigation further.
You have a man who leaves his child in a vehicle for several hours under the scorching sun. It is a serious mistake that leads to the death of a small child. This can lead to criminal liability.
Me Stephen Angers, lawyer for Anaïs Perlot
The director of criminal and criminal prosecution (DPCP) had not filed charges against the child’s father in 2018, but a complaint remains a “possible option for citizens dissatisfied with a decision made by a prosecutor in DPCP”, the lawyer explains. However, he clarifies that private complaints are very rare and that a judge must approve – or not – the trial.
Anaïs Perlot assures, for her part, that she is not waging this battle for revenge against her former spouse. “If a parent forgets their child in the car, it’s not an accident,” she says. I owe her, my son. »