COBB COUNTY, Ga. -
UPDATE: The father accused of leaving his child in the car has now been charged with felony murder and cruelty to children.
Cobb County authorities are investigating a child's death after a parent left a toddler in a vehicle near Cumberland Mall Wednesday.
According to Cobb County police, a father was supposed to take his 22-month-old to day care around 8:30 a.m. Police said the father forgot and left his child inside his vehicle while he went to work.
"Apparently, he forgot the child was in the car seat in the back of the automobile and went to work, left work sometime around 4 or 4:15," said Sgt. Dana Pierce of the Cobb County Police Department.
Dale Hamilton witnessed the emotional scene as a father realized that his child was in the car.
"I wish I could have done something but there's nothing that could be done," Hamilton said.
After leaving work and making the discovery, the father pulled into Akers Mill Square near Cumberland Mall.
"Laid his son on the ground, started doing CPR trying to resuscitate him. Apparently the child wasn't responding," Hamilton said.
Police said the man had to be physically restrained once it became clear his child was gone.
"There were a number of witnesses, passersby in the area who observed basically the father in a very distressed moment," Pierce said.
"He kept saying, ‘What have I done? What have I done?’ And that's all that I could ascertain that he was saying," Hamilton said.
The child was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police stopped short of listing any potential charges that could come from the tragedy. They said they first need to know the cause of death.
Those in the area responded with equal shock and disbelief.
"You are their only line of defense and you have to take care of your children first," said Effrem Beasley.
"It's hard to see anyone pass like that, especially small children," Hamilton said.
The father was taken to the Cobb Police Department headquarters for questioning.
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