FATHER CHARGED AFTER TODDLER WAS FOUND DEAD IN HOT CAR

A criminal complaint was filed today charging John MacDonald Junek, age 40, of Leonardtown, Maryland, with involuntary manslaughter in connection with the death of his infant son. An initial appearance is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Charles B. Day, in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt, Maryland.

The criminal complaint was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and Special Agent in Charge Darrell Gilliard of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, Washington Field Office.

The criminal complaint alleges that at 3:25 p.m. on September 3, 2014, Junek’s infant son was found unresponsive, locked inside Junek’s vehicle which was parked at the Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River, where Junek worked.  According to the criminal complaint, Junek dropped his four year old son at preschool that morning and was then supposed to drop his infant son at the Child Development Center on NAS Patuxent River.  Junek explained that he entered the base and drove directly to his office, leaving his son in his rear-facing car seat in his locked vehicle at approximately 8:50 a.m.

According to the criminal complaint, Junek’s wife called him at 3:20 p.m. to see if he had their son’s car seat with him.  Junek could not recall whether he had the car seat and realized that he may not have dropped the baby off at the CDC.  Junek went to his vehicle and discovered the iqnfant in his car seat unconscious.  Junek called emergency responders and attempted to perform CPR on the child until police and EMS arrived and took over.

According to the criminal complaint, Junek had driven his vehicle to a meeting at approximately 1:00 p.m.  He remained at the meeting until 2:00 p.m. and drove back to his office.  Junek advised law enforcement that he had been in a hurry to get to the meeting and had not noticed his son was still strapped to his car seat in rear of the vehicle.  The temperature reached 85 degrees on September 3, 2014.

Junek faces a maximum sentence of eight years in prison for involuntary manslaughter. He is currently detained.

A criminal complaint is not a finding of guilt.  An individual charged by criminal complaint is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the NCIS for its work in the investigation.  Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorneys Kristi O’Malley and Michael Packard, who are prosecuting the case.

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