BRISTOW, Va. (WUSA) -- The death of two-year-old Ryan Murphy is a painful tragedy for everyone on the Gentle Shade Drive, but for the Murphy family, it has transformed their lives, filling them with tremendous grief, sadness and guilt.
"It is a terrible accident. This whole neighborhood is in mourning," said neighbor Marian Lofton.
Neighbors say the father, Mark Murphy, was already at the golf course where he works Friday morning. The mother, Karen Murphy, who is a veterinarian, was apparently on her way to her animal hospital Friday morning. Neighbors believe it was either a miscommunication or that she forgot to drop off her youngest child, two-year-old Ryan at his daycare.
At 4:15 pm, when Karen Murphy realized little Ryan was still in his car seat in the backseat, seven hours later, it was too late. She screamed, a neighbor performed CPR, but the child could not be saved.
Lofton described Karen Murphy as a kind person who often helps others. Twice, Lofton said, she helped neighbors with their sick dogs. Marian Lofton also said the Murphys are such a giving family that they open up their home up on Halloween for for a haunted basement.
Lofton showed a stack of handmade cards and pictures her children and her neighbor's children made for Ryan's older sisters who are 9 and 11.
Lofton and her neighbor, Carol, both said that Murphy should not be charged with any crime.
"Losing a child is punishment enough. They have to live with this forever," she said.
Police secured a search warrant for the Murphy house; nothing was seized, and police do not believe there was any criminal intent.
Commonwealth's Attorney Paul Ebert says he is considering pursuing charges in the case. If he does, the grand jury meets next on July 5.
Written by Peggy Fox