Timothy Reid was found unresponsive by his father, Robert Reid, Tuesday afternoon, nearly seven hours after Reid had parked the car and went to work, officials said. Emergency workers pronounced the toddler dead at the scene and said the temperature in the car was 142 degrees.
Reid, 43, was charged with criminally negligent homicide and aggravated child abuse and neglect, Lt. Tim Carroll said Wednesday.
"The punishment is done regardless of what happens in court," Carroll said. "He is torn up. He reacted the way a parent should react who has lost a child."
Police said Reid took his three other children, ages 6, 10 and 12, to school Tuesday morning and had intended to take Timothy to day care before driving to work.
Investigators said Reid instead went to work and left the boy in the car seat.
Arrest records show the car was equipped with an interior motion detector that tripped the alarm several times on Tuesday. The father eventually turned off the alarm remotely from inside the office when he could not see anyone around the vehicle.
The boy was discovered when Reid went to his car to go pick up the children that afternoon.
The boy's mother had driven to the company she owns with her husband in a different vehicle. She was trying to resuscitate the child when emergency workers got there.
The outside temperature Tuesday reached 89 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.
Reid was released on $15,000 bail pending a May 23 court hearing; records show he did not yet have a lawyer. A woman who answered the phone at Unishippers, the business owned by the boy's parents, said no one would comment Wednesday.