We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
One hot July day, 7-year-old Michael Kingsbury wandered out of his Trinidad home. At some point, the boy, who had autism, climbed into a scorching hot abandoned car in the alley behind the house. He died there, 40 yards from home. That would be tragic enough. But what makes Michael’s death, which officials later ruled accidental, even more horrifying is that at various points during a massive police-organized search for him, at least four officers looked at—but never tried to open—the car where his body was found. In a year when cable news and social media went into full-blown freakout mode about a red panda that escaped from the National Zoo for a couple of hours, the idea that a child can vanish from home for more than a day and die within sight of his house without being noticed seems unbelievable. Sadly, it was all too real.