A man is facing murder charges in Texas after authorities said he fatally shot a father, stole his car, and then left his victim’s 2-year-old son to die in the back seat of the hot vehicle.
Bolanle Fadairo, 38, was arrested early Wednesday after an hourslong manhunt and charged with two counts of murder and one count of tampering with evidence, Houston police said Thursday.
The violence followed a possible argument between Fadairo and the father shortly after the pair met up at around 1:45 p.m. Tuesday, said Larry Satterwhite, executive assistant chief with the Houston police, during a press conference.
Fadairo allegedly shot the 38-year-old father, identified by local news outlets as Michael Essien, multiple times in a parking lot. He then took off in the victim’s black SUV containing the young child, police said.
Nearly five hours later, the victim’s wife called police to report her husband and son missing. The woman was able to provide information about her husband’s vehicle that led to its discovery roughly 1 mile away from the site of the theft, authorities said.
Officers were able to break into the parked, locked SUV at around 7 p.m. and found the child unresponsive in the back seat. The boy was pronounced dead at the scene, said Satterwhite, adding that heat exhaustion was a possible cause of death.
An autopsy will determine the official cause, authorities said.
At Fadairo’s bond hearing Thursday, a prosecutor emphasized that the child likely would not have found any relief from the heat while locked inside the vehicle.
“The windows were rolled up and the engine was turned off,” he told the judge, according to local station KHOU. “The outdoor temps at the time were around 93 degrees. The vehicle was parked on a concrete city street with no shade.”
Fadairo’s total bond was set at $1,550,000, KHOU reported. It is unclear if he has an attorney.