A young child died July 29 in Rockland after apparently getting in a car that overheated due to the hot temperatures.

Paul Giamsiracusa Jr., who was a few weeks short of his third birthday, died at Penobscot Bay Medical Center in Rockport about an hour after being taken there by Rockland ambulance, according to Sgt. Rick Fowler of the Maine Criminal Investigative Division with the Maine State Police.

Rockland police received a call from Lovejoy Street shortly after 6:30 p.m. on July 29 about a missing child. Fowler said he did not know when the child was located but his division was contacted shortly after 8 p.m.

“It appears to be a tragic accident,” Fowler said.

An autopsy was scheduled to be performed later Friday, July 30 on the child. State police are required by law to be called in for the death of a young child.

Fowler said the parents have been cooperative. The child had last been seen at 3 p.m. Fowler said one person thought he was in one room and another thought he was in another and didn’t realize he was missing until later.

Jan Null, an adjunct professor of meteorology at San Fransisco State University, said July 30 that they began researching the topic of how hot vehicles get after a local child died in 2001.

The death of the Rockland boy was the 26th in the country and the first in Maine in 2010, Null said. Last year, 33 children died of hyperthermia in vehicles in the United States. He said the last child to die in Maine was in July 1998 in Skowhegan.

With an outside air temperature of about 84 degrees, the inside air temperature of the car could have been near 130 degrees, Null said. Objects or a person inside the car in direct sunlight would have been significantly hotter.