Family of Raymond Pryer Jr. unites for balloon release

- Holding white balloons with words written on them to Raymond Pryer Jr., 3, his family and friends, who affectionately remember him as R.J., met in a field outside their neighborhood in northwest Houston.

“On behalf of the Pryer family, the Pryer family is asking for our privacy, keep the family lifted in your prayers,” says Jackie Ellis.

R.J. attended the Discovering Me Academy. He and more than twenty other children went on a field trip to Doss Park at around 10 a.m. Thursday. They returned at around 2:30 p.m. that afternoon, but R.J. never got off the bus. The boy's father arrived to the child care center at around 6 p.m. to pick him up.

“As parents arrive normally and as this particular father, the father of Raymond Pryer, the victim, arrived and they cannot locate the child, so there was a search, about 6:30 is when the day care workers finally found this child, this tragic event, on the bus,” described Houston Police Department Assistant Chief Bobby Dobbins with criminal investigations command.

Police and paramedics arrived to the parking lot within minutes. 

“Once they arrived, they witnessed the scene of a child that was in heat exhaustion and receiving care from the paramedics," adds Asst. Chief Dobbins. "The child was transported to the hospital and at 7:45 p.m. last night, that child was pronounced deceased.”

Balloons were released in the boy's honor on Friday evening as the one who knew him held each other, grieving a life that was taken too soon.

“It’s tragic that children are left in their vehicles, especially in the heat of the summer," says Asst. Chief Dobbins. "As we know, we’ve got record heat right now. This affects all of us. We all have children. We all have to be aware of both children and elderly that we might leave in vehicles. "This is just one more incident or something that shouldn’t have happened and ended tragically.”

Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg says the case will be presented in front of a grand jury.

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