No charges expected for Nashville dad who left baby in hot vehicle

(CBS News) — Nashville officials will likely not be filing charges for the death of 1-year-old Katera Barker, who was forgotten for several hours in her father’s truck, CBS affiliate WVLT reports.

The tragedy reportedly occurred Wednesday morning after her father, Matt Barker, brought Katera and her 5-year-old sibling to day care at approximately 7:30 a.m., forgetting to drop his youngest daughter off as well, according to CBS affiliate WSMV.

Around 8:00 a.m., Barker returned his truck to the driveway outside his East Nashville home and, forgetting the infant in his back seat, left in a rideshare vehicle for the airport.

When Barker’s wife, Jenny Barker, went to retrieve their two children from the daycare after work, she was told that their youngest child had never been dropped off. Officials said it was while calling her husband that she realized the child might still be in his back seat.

Barker found her daughter in the hot truck shortly after 5:30 p.m. Wednesday and performed CPR on the child until first responders were on the scene, from which she was rushed to Vanderbilt Hospital and pronounced dead.

The baby girl had been in the vehicle for roughly ten hours. According to the National Weather Service, temperatures climbed to 89 degrees that day. Her father flew back to Nashville Wednesday night, and police said both parents have been cooperative with their ongoing investigation.

Janette Fennel, founder of, shared tips for preventing accidents like this with WSMV.

“Keep a stuffed animal in your child’s car seat and when you put your child in the car seat put that up front in the passenger seat,” she said. “Put your cell phone, your bag, your employee badge or lunch or anything in the backseat that you’ll need to grab when you arrive at your destination.”

According to Fennel, Tennessee ranks eighth in child hot car deaths nationwide, with 30 incidents since 1990.

**PHOTO: Metro Nashville PD on Twitter
Categories: Regional News

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