Crime 5-Year-Old Boy in Texas Dead After Mom Left Him in Hot Car for Hours While Preparing for Party Thomas M. Gilliland, senior deputy at the Harris County Sheriff's Office, told PEOPLE that the child was pronounced dead in the family's driveway upon the arrival of Emergency Medical Services By Tommy McArdle Tommy McArdle Twitter Tommy McArdle is a digital news writer at PEOPLE covering stories across all of the brand's verticals. Prior to joining PEOPLE, Tommy covered the entertainment industry at Looper and sports at The Sporting News and Boston.com. He graduated from Emerson College in 2019. People Editorial Guidelines Published on June 21, 2022 12:52 PM Share Tweet Pin Email A mother in Harris County, Texas left her 5-year-old son in a car for "several hours" as she prepared for his older sister's birthday party, resulting in his death on Monday. Thomas M. Gilliland, senior deputy at the Harris County Sheriff's Office, told PEOPLE that the child was pronounced dead in the family's driveway upon the arrival of Emergency Medical Services. Names of the child and his mother have not been revealed. Gilliland also did not say whether the mother may face charges. "Homicide and Child Crimes-investigators were notified and responded to the scene," Gilliland said. "The case is still open and active, and investigators will meet with the Harris County District Attorney's Office to present their findings of the investigation." Two Dead in Wisconsin as Heat Wave Blankets Parts of Nation KPRC 2 Click2Houston/YouTube County Sheriff Ed Gonzelz told ABC13 KTRK that prior to his death, the 5-year-old went to the store with his mother to prepare for his 8-year-old sister's birthday party. When they returned to their home, the mother and her daughter exited the vehicle, but the boy reportedly remained buckled to his seat within the car for multiple hours before the family realized he was not inside. "[The mother was] excited, trying to get things together, and unfortunately this time the child did not make it out," Gonzalez told KTRK on Monday. "Again, with the business of the activities that they were preparing for it took them a while to notice that the child wasn't in the house." Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories. Gonzalez told KTRK that the family was driving a rental vehicle while their normal car was being worked on, explaining that it's possible the child was not familiar with the rental's locking mechanisms. The sheriff said that the car's doors did not have any kind of child safety lock turned on. Officers were made aware of the situation around 3:19 p.m., Gonzalez told KTRK. Driver Alerts Officer to Alleged Kidnapping After Committing Traffic Violation to Get Pulled Over, Police Say Monday was the hottest day of the year in the Houston area so far, with record highs of 102 degrees Farenheit, according to the Weather channel. Children face a higher risk of dying from heatstroke than adults in part because their temperature rises three to five times faster than an adult's, according to a Texas Department of State Health Services fact sheet. The sheet notes that heatstroke can begin when the core body temperature reaches 104 degrees; the department considers 107 degrees a "lethal core temperature." On average, 38 children under 15 years old die each year from heatstroke after being left in a vehicle across the country, according to the National Safety Council. The council's website states that 23 children died in this manner in 2021. Texas Child Protection Services told KTRK that five children have died in Texas this year due to heat exposure after being left in cars.