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Coroner: Baby's death ruled accident after left in hot car

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BATON ROUGE – According to East Baton Rouge Coroner Beau Clark, the baby that was left in a hot car accidentally by her father died of “hyperthermia” or an elevated body temperature. The baby’s death has been ruled an accident by the coroner’s office.

The father of an eight-month-old child died Wednesday after being left in a hot car. The father, Marvin Mercer was arrested later in the day.

According to arrest documents, 31-year-old Mercer, of Zachary, drove to a local hospital with an unresponsive child in the car seat of his vehicle. Medical staff rushed the child into the hospital and attempted life saving procedures, but to no avail.

Mercer was taken into custody with the Baton Rouge Police Violent Crimes Unit. Mercer told investigators that he was supposed to drop off his eight-month-old daughter, Raylee Mercer, at daycare but instead followed his normal morning routine and drove to work at Madison Preparatory School. 

Mercer is the baseball coach for the school. Online records indicate that Mercer was hosting a baseball camp Wednesday morning from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

Documents reveal that Mercer admitted that he left the child in the back seat of the vehicle around 9 a.m. He returned to the car at 11:30 a.m. and heard a "coughing" noise in the back seat. He then saw the unresponsive child with fluid coming from her nose. Mercer said he then drove to Baton Rouge General Hospital for help.

Mercer was charged with negligent homicide. He was booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison.

Principal of Madison Prep, Alisa Welsh said that the day has been "the absolute worst."

"We're really close knit," she said. "We do everything together."

Welsh said that she is working to set up counselors for the students and faculty on campus. Welsh said that she believes Mercer will be releases on bond Wednesday night and the faculty plans to support him moving forward.

"We're just going to wrap our arms around him," she said.  

Mercer bonded out of jail late Wednesday night.  His bond was set at $10,000.  Mercer had to come up with a little more than 10-percent. 

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