Parents fight to keep son's memory alive after tragic death

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Monday, July 20, 2020
Parents fight to keep son's memory alive after tragic death
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R.J. Pryer was found unresponsive two summers ago when his father went to pick him up from day care.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Two years after the tragic death of 3-year-old Raymond Pryer, Jr., who died after being left in a hot day care van, his family continues to mourn.

Having to live without seeing his son's smiling face hasn't been easy, but on the anniversary of his death, father Raymond Pryer chose to honor his son in hopes of keeping his memory alive.

A balloon release ceremony was held Sunday morning.

Raymond Pryer, Jr., who went by R.J., died on July 20, 2018 after returning from a field trip with his day care.

Authorities said the preschooler was on the trip with 28 other students. According to the day care, R.J. was accounted for at that time.

The Harris County Precinct 1 Constable's Office said the child was found unresponsive in the van around 7 p.m. that night, when his father arrived to pick him up.

At the time, authorities said it appeared R.J. was left in the vehicle for at least four hours. Temperatures inside reached at least 113 degrees, according to investigators.

READ MORE: 3-year-old boy left behind in hot day care van after field trip dies

Meanwhile, the Precinct 1 Constable's Office posted a tweet reminding people of the boy's death and urging the public to sign up for a free 'Baby in the Back' placard to place inside cars.

"Let's not let another helpless child die in a hot vehicle," read the tweet. "Sign up for your free placard which you can use as a reminder about precious cargo."

Last year, a park bench at Doss Park in northwest Harris County was dedicated to the boy and his family to honor his life.

READ MORE: Bench dedicated to Houston 3-year-old who died in hot day care van