Virginia woman charged in connection to hot car deaths of infant, dog

Posted at 7:08 AM, September 14, 2023


YORK COUNTY, Va. (Court TV/Scripps News Richmond) — A Virginia woman is facing charges in connection to the death of an infant and dog after they were both left inside a hot car.

Kristen Graham, 40, was arrested Tuesday on charges of child neglect and cruelty to animals, according to jail records. York-Poquoson Sheriff Ron Montgomery said she’s involved in the death of 11-month-old Myrical Wicker and a dog.

kristen graham mugshot

This Sept. 12, 2023 booking photo provided by the Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail shows Kristen Graham. (Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail)

According to Sheriff Montgomery, on the morning of Sept. 12, Graham received a phone call from a friend in Newport News asking her to bring her a pack of cigarettes. Her friend was said to have been taking care of an elderly woman, and could not leave the home to get them herself.

Graham then drove to Newport News to bring the cigarettes and some apple juice to her friend as the infant and a small dog rode along with her, Montgomery explained.

Graham returned home a few hours later where, and according to officials, Graham rolled up the windows in her car and left the dog and child inside.

Montgomery believes she left them in the car for roughly six hours and then found the infant and dog deceased after she was woken up by a phone call later that afternoon.

Court documents show 80-year-old Paul Kudlaty brought the deceased infant to a hospital in a trash bag. Kudlaty is not facing charges, according to authorities. Deputies were notified shortly after and responded to the home, where they located the deceased dog in a bathtub.

Graham told officials she has no recollection of the events that took place leading up to the infant and dog’s death beyond pulling into the driveway and turning off the vehicle, according to an arrest warrant. The warrant also detailed that Graham told officials she had taken Gabapentin, a pain medication, before leaving for Newport News.

Montgomery said the case was a tough one for his department.

“Anytime you investigate the death of a child it’s devastating to the investigators and the law enforcement people who have to be involved with that,” said Sheriff Montgomery. “We have children ourselves and I can tell you that we all go home and hug our kids and grand kids a little tighter after something like this happens.”

Officials are waiting for the autopsy results and more to determine if charges could be upgraded to homicide.

This story was originally published by Scripps News Richmond, an E.W. Scripps Company.


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