Search Warrant Released On Foster Mom Charged In 1-Year-Old’s Death

PINEVILLE, NC — The Pineville Police Department says a foster mother is now facing charges in relation to a 1-year-old child who died after being left in a hot vehicle parked at a shopping center off Pineville-Matthews Road.

The incident reportedly happened in the Lowe’s parking lot on McMullen Creek Parkway on August 29th.  The foster mother, 42-year-old Dawn Aberson-Vanden Broecke, was reportedly an employee at one of the stores in the shopping center.  The child was found in his car seat around 5pm.

He was transported to Atrium Pineville, but pronounced dead at the hospital.

According to a search warrant, the child had been in the car for roughly seven hours by the time Broecke realized he was there and pulled over in the Lowe’s parking lot. When she checked him, the warrant says she “knew that he looked bad, possibly deceased.”

Police say the child was in a rear-facing car seat in the backseat of the Toyota Highlander, behind the driver’s seat.

Broecke told officers, according to the warrant, she forgot to drop the child off at daycare that morning and was leaving her job to pick him up when she realized he was still in the vehicle.

The police requested the search warrant to seize “the infant car seat, any evidence of child abuse or neglect, controlled substances prescribed or elicit that may be related to this infant’s death.”

The Mecklenburg County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled that the official cause of death was hyperthermia due to environmental exposure.

After a lengthy investigation, Pineville Police say they obtained the criminal warrant on Broecke and charged her with involuntary manslaughter.

Broecke and her wife were foster parents to five children, police say. The 1-year-old was reportedly the youngest, and had been with them roughly six months.

We asked Mecklenburg Co. Department of Social Services how long she had been licensed as a foster parent, the current status of her license, if her other foster kids have been removed from her care, and if there were any previous complaints against her.

A Mecklenburg Co. spokesperson tells WCCB, “We cannot comment on an active police investigation or provide any information regarding this case.”