Caregiver, Zeljna Kosovac, charged in 3-year-old’s death in hot car
By: Tyson Lautenschlager
The caregiver responsible for a three-year-old boy who died yesterday afternoon has been granted bail.
Police say Zeljna Kosovac is charged with criminal negligence causing death after the child in her care was found strapped inside of a hot car in Etobicoke.
The car was spotted behind an apartment building at 299 Mill Rd. near Burnhamthorpe Rd. shortly before 2 p.m.
A cleaning crew smashed the car windows to pull the child, along with his car seat, out through the window. He was then rushed to Trillium Health Partners Hospital in life-threatening condition where he was pronounced dead around 45 minutes later.
A teddy bear memorial was created behind the building where the child was found yesterday. Nearby residents came to the parking lot to pay their respects to the boy and his family.
“I don’t know the boy and I haven’t seen him, but it’s just tragic,” said Linda Canning, who attended the makeshift memorial with her son.
“As a mother and a resident, I just saw it unfolding. I kept coming to the balcony and watching. I came out and saw the car seat. It breaks your heart,” she said. “You feel helpless and you want to do something. We keep visiting. We want the family to know we’re thinking about them. My heart breaks for them.”
Peggy Murphy, the great-grandmother of a little boy, was visibly shaken by the boy’s death.
“I thought I could have just said a prayer. [The child] could have been [my great-grandson],” she said in tears.
Another woman at the scene was confused as to how an incident like this could happen in the first place.
“I have three children of my own and I just can’t understand how they could leave a baby alone,” said Karen, who declined to give her last name.
Kosovac made a scheduled court appearance this morning at College Park Court and a post-mortem examination of the body is also scheduled for today.
The identity of the child and his family has not been released.