Metro father warns other parents after accidentally leaving 1-year-old daughter in hot car

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Original Post

A father and business owner in the metro left his baby in the car for two hours, and what happens next, he says, is a miracle.

Steve Srivisay is charged with misdemeanor second-degree child endangerment. He said that’s not what he cares about — only that his daughter is still alive.

Now, he’s sharing his story to make sure other parents know it can happen to them.

“It’s opened my eyes. It can happen to anybody,” Srivisay said. “She’s like the air I breathe, absolutely incredible kid. I’ve never thought in a million years I would be so lucky to create something like her.”

The metro dad said he never thought he would be a father, but when Alyse came into his life, everything changed.

“I can’t even describe how lucky I am to have her in my life. It’s just changed my world,” Srivisay said.

However, on July 19, he almost lost her.

Steve Srivisay and his daughter Alyse

Kansas City police said Srivisay left his daughter outside in the car at his KC restaurant, Kokothai, for two hours. Srivisay told investigators the car was not running and was left unattended outside the business.

Srivisay said Alyse fell asleep in the backseat earlier that day. He was supposed to drop her off, but because she was asleep, he forgot she was in the car. He said it wasn’t his normal day to have his daughter. He picked up his mother to go to the restaurant. They were talking, got distracted and left Alyse in the car.

“I completely forgot,” Srivisay said. “You forget carrots. You forget noodles. You just don’t forget your daughter, and I completely forgot. Oblivious,” he said.

Police say Srivisay found his daughter when he left to run an errand around 1 p.m. that day.

“I get to the car, and I hear gasps of air,” Srivisay said. “I hear my daughter breathing, barely breathing. I just screamed because I knew at that moment — I yelled because I knew at that moment my daughter was in the car.”

That day, high temperatures were in the low 90s with a heat index of 104 degrees. FOX4’s Mike Thompson said it could have been around 120 degrees in the car at that time of day.

Srivisay said he rushed Alyse inside, tried to cool her down and then raced to Children’s Mercy Hospital.

“All of the sudden she gave me a kick,” Srivisay said. “She kicked, and then she started taking in a little bit of water. It’s an absolute miracle. It’s an absolute miracle. To this day, I don’t understand how she survived.”

Srivisay said doctors told him Alyse’s body temperature was 107 degrees when she was brought into the emergency room. Police said they arrested Srivisay at the hospital, and he was released the next day.

“Until this day, I still can’t sleep at night because I always think about the pain and the suffering that she was going through for those two hours,” Srivisay said.

The metro dad said he doesn’t know what the court system holds for him, but he’s ready to take responsibility for what happened to his daughter.

“I don’t care if I go to jail for 30 days, a year, 30 years — there’s already a victory, and that’s my daughter being alive,” Srivisay said.

He’s scheduled to be arraigned on July 27 in Jackson County court. Alyse is currently living with her mother and celebrated her first birthday on July 24.

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