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Ridgefield Dad Charged In Son's Death Told Stay In State After Family Moves

Benjamin Seitz was 15 months old when he died in a hot car in Ridgefield.
Benjamin Seitz was 15 months old when he died in a hot car in Ridgefield. Photo Credit: Gift of Ben website

DANBURY, Conn. -- A Ridgefield father charged with criminally negligent homicide in the death of his toddler son in a hot car made his first court appearance Wednesday afternoon in Danbury Superior Court, according to Hearst Connecticut Media Group .

Seitz, 36, did not enter a plea and was released on the promise to appear in court again on Nov. 21, Hearst said.

Seitz was arrested Tuesday in Ridgefield after learning of a warrant for his arrest. He faces up to a year in prison if found guilty of the misdemeanor charge.

His son, Benjamin, 15 months old, died July 7 after Seitz forgot to drop him off at day care and left the toddler in a hot car all day while he worked, police said.

Judge Dan Shaban also ordered Seitz to not leave the state of Connecticut and to turn in his passport, Hearst said.

Seitz’s wife, Lindsey Rodger Seitz, who did not appear in court with her husband, moved the family out of the state earlier last week without notifying the Department of Children and Families, Hearst said.

The state has monitored the family's two daughters since Benjamin's death.

Defense attorney John Gulash fought this order saying that Seitz has never had a criminal record and is not a flight risk.

Benjamin died in a hot car July 7 after he "was supposed to be dropped off at a day-care facility in Ridgefield by his father," Ridgefield Police Capt. Jeff Kreitz said in July. But "the father did not drop off his son" and went to his office at at Owl Computing Technologies at 38A Grove St. in Ridgefield with the child still in the car, Kreitz said.

Temperatures reached 88 degrees on the day the boy died.

It was not clear how long the toddler was in the car. The father took the child directly to Danbury Hospital when he found him in the car at the end of his workday. The death was ruled a homicide in August.

Lindsey Rogers-Seitz, the boy’s mother, started a website pushing for car safety regulations and laws to prevent such deaths in the future.

Read the full story here at Hearst Connecticut Media website.

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