The 2-year-old who was found dead inside an SUV after hours of searching was killed by the heat and his death was ruled an accident, according to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Sarbesh Gurung was reported missing by his mother on the afternoon of July 2 from their apartment on West Prairie Street in Denton. Police and firefighters searched for him into the night, discovering the boy’s body the next morning inside an SUV not far from the apartment.
Confirming for the first time that Sarbesh’s death was an accident, the medical examiner’s office listed his cause of death as hyperthermia, or an abnormally high body temperature.
The search and discovery of Sarbesh unfolded before TV news cameras and more than 100 people who came to the scene to volunteer to search. The mobile command center for police and rescue leaders to orchestrate the search was set up just yards from were Sarbesh would be discovered.
In a blow to the Denton community, a resident in the neighborhood got into their vehicle the morning of July 3 to go to work and found Sarbesh in the back seat, police said.
Speaking to reporters that morning, Denton Police Chief Frank Dixon said nobody was to blame for the child’s death. But Dixon would not say definitively whether the SUV Sarbesh was found in was searched; he said the vehicle had tinted windows and window shades, preventing authorities from looking in.
“Can we conclusively say that someone went and checked every door handle of every vehicle out there?” Dixon said. “Obviously, we can’t say that.”
At memorial services and in conversations, people said the situation was “horrifying,” some saying this could have been anybody’s child. They expressed remorse for the family.
A Denton police spokeswoman said Tuesday that police were no longer investigating the child’s death.
A spokeswoman for the medical examiner’s office said the full autopsy report should be finished and released to the public in the next 10 days.