First picture of boy, 5, who died after mother left him in hot car on 38C day

Trace Means died after he was left in the family’s Porsche SUV in sweltering Texas heat, while his mother went inside to prepare for his sister’s birthday party

<p>Trace Means pictured with his older sister and parents Amanda and Steve </p>

Trace Means pictured with his older sister and parents Amanda and Steve

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A five-year-old boy who died after he was left in a hot car while his mother prepared a birthday party for his older sister has been pictured for the first time.

Trace Means died after Amanda Means, 36, left him in the back of their Porsche SUV for around two to three hours in the sweltering Texas heat.

Authoritities think Mrs Means forgot that her son was in the vehicle and strapped in his car seat while she prepared a birthday party for her eight-year-old daughter in their Houston home.

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez told KTRK: “This time the child didn’t make it out and again with the business of the activities that they were preparing for, it took a while for them to notice that the child wasn’t in the house.”

Emergency services were called as the boy was unresponsive. He was pronounced dead at the scene. An official cause of death has not yet been released.

The boy apparently knew how to unlock his seatbelt, but investigators think that as the car was a rental vehicle he wasn’t quite sure how to do it.

“The door did not have any kind of child safety lock enacted or anything like that,” Mr Gonzales added.

Mrs Means is not currently facing any charges but Harris County Sheriff’s Office is still investigating the incident.

Trace’s parents are reportedly going through a divorce and the boy spent Father’s Day with Steve Means, 48, before heading home hours before the tragedy.

Mr Means attorney, Gary Block, told the Mail Online: “Steve is a stand-up guy. He is in tears, he’s beside himself, but the last thing he wants is for Amanda to be criminally punished. She is going through enough already.”

“He knows that she is their mother, no matter what happened, and that there was nothing done on purpose. All he wants to do right now is make sure his daughter is OK and that everyone can begin to heal.”

Houston has been in the grip of a heatwave and is on track to records its hottest June ever. On Monday the temperatures climbed to as high as 38C (101F).

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