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Police have laid charges against the father of a three-year-old Ontario boy who died after being left in a hot car last week.

Halton regional police say 37-year-old Shaun Pennell of Burlington, Ont., faces one count of criminal negligence causing death and one count of failing to provide the necessaries of life.

Police have said officers got a call on May 23 from a “hysterical” man, indicating that a child was in a vehicle and was not breathing.

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They said the boy was outside a grey Ford Escape when emergency crews arrived and paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene.

Police said last week that an autopsy revealed that the “preliminary cause of death” was hyperthermia, consistent with the child being left in a vehicle and exposed to high temperatures for an extended period of time.

Data from The Weather Network indicates temperatures reached 26 C in Burlington that day. Studies have shown the temperature inside a closed vehicle can rise above 45 C, sufficient to cause heat stroke.

Police said Wednesday that Pennell was released from custody on a promise to appear in a Milton, Ont., court on June 27.

They say the family is requesting privacy.

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