Obituary: Natalie Maritta Ross

Natalie Maritta Ross

TWIN FALLS — The father of a baby who died in June after being left for hours inside a hot car was arrested Tuesday.

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Richard William Ross

Ross

COURTESY TFCSO

Richard William Ross, 29, of Twin Falls was charged with involuntary manslaughter and was arraigned Wednesday.

In an affidavit obtained from the Fifth Judicial Magistrate Court, Twin Falls Police officer Brian Maughan described “Ricky” Ross as a distraught man trying to save his daughter’s life when police responded just before midnight on June 23 to a 911 call from a home in southern Twin Falls.

Maughan said Ross was doing chest compressions on his daughter, Natalie Marrita Ross, 10 months, on the floor of a neighbor’s home.

Ross had left his daughter sleeping unattended in her car seat in the family’s van earlier that afternoon, the report said.

“During the interview (Ross) spontaneously called himself a “f***g idiot,” Maughan wrote.

Temperatures inside the van reached an estimated 130 degrees, he reported.

“Ricky… admitted he knew that bad things could happen to a child who is left in a car,” Maughan said, “but he didn’t think it was hot enough for her to get hurt.”

The report said Ross had been smoking marijuana that day.

Magistrate Judge Thomas Kershaw asked Ross Wednesday if he understood the charges against him.

“Yes and no,” Ross said, breaking into tears.

While Ross was not in his right mind that day, Kershaw said, a child died of heat exposure.

“Pretty upsetting,” he said.

Gasps came from the audience, as folks realized what case was before the judge.

Ross, via video, and his wife, Eva, sitting in the audience, asked the judge to reduce Ross’ bail.

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“We are both struggling emotionally,” Eva Ross said. She stopped to dab tears from her eyes.

“He’s not a flight risk,” she said. “This is something he knows he has to face.”

Ross told Kershaw he is working for a farmer during harvest.

“It’s my baby girl,” he said, sobbing into his hands. “I want to be there with my son and family.”

Kershaw reduced Ross’ bail from $250,000 to $5,000, adding that Ross was neither a flight risk nor a public danger.

Dr. Glenn Grobin, forensic pathologist with the Ada County Coroner’s Office, concluded the infant died as a result of hyperthermia due to being in an area with elevated temperatures.

The maximum sentence for the offense is 10 years in prison or a $10,000 fine or both, Twin Falls County Prosecuting Attorney Grant Loebs said.

Ross has not entered a plea.

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