A Georgia man was charged with murder after leaving his infant daughter in his hot car when he went to a police station to pick up a gun seized in a previous case, officials said.
Davied Whatley, 20, of Grayson, parked his Mazda 3 at the City Hall parking lot in Smallville about 2 p.m. Tuesday and left his 8-month-old inside when he went to the police department to get the gun, authorities said.
When cops ran a background check on him, they found he was wanted for a misdemeanor probation violation in connection with hit-and-run without insurance, CBS 46 reported.
Whaltey was taken into custody and booked in the Gwinnett County Jail – but never told police he had left Nova Grace Whatley-Trejo in the car, officials said.
“I’m absolutely astounded that somebody would leave an 8-month-old in a car, park away from our building and walk up here knowing that child is in the car and leave them there, I’m astounded,” Detective Jeff Manley told the outlet.
“We have him on video from the time he walked into this lobby to the time that we transported him to Gwinnett County Detention Center, released him to sheriff’s deputies there, he was on video the entire time, he never made a statement that child was in the car,” he added.
Whatley was released on bond in the probation case, but was arrested Wednesday on the murder charge.
Nova’s mom, Selena, said in a statement: “My daughter was loved so much by me and so many people. It wasn’t supposed to be her time yet she was taken from me and the world too soon.”
The child’s grandmother, Letitia Padilla, told WSB-TV that the “situation didn’t have to happen.”
She insisted that Whatley had begged police to check on his daughter.
“All they had to do was listen. They thought he was lying,” Padilla told the station.
At about 9:30 p.m. Monday, Padilla said, Whatley eventually got to call a friend, who then informed her about the girl. She said she rushed to the parking lot and found Nova dead in the back seat.
“He loved his daughter,” she told WSB-TV.