Friday, July 18, 2008 | 1:05 p.m.
The Clark County coroner today ruled the death of 4-year-old Jason Rimer a homicide.
Family members found Jason dead June 9 in the back seat of the family's SUV after he spent 17 hours in the vehicle. The coroner determined the cause of death was environmental heat stress.
Four other Rimer children were taken into protective custody after Jason's death.
District Attorney David Roger filed second-degree murder charges against the parents on June 25. Stanley and Colleen Rimer also were charged with multiple counts of child abuse, neglect and endangerment.
Police went to the home on June 9 about 8:30 a.m. In the morning after receiving a 311 (non-emergency) phone call saying that family members had found Jason cold and not moving in the vehicle. Colleen Rimer told police dispatchers Jason had been in the SUV since 3 p.m. Sunday, June 8, when the family returned from church.
A check with Child Protective Services revealed that the Rimer family had come to the attention of the agency 23 times between 1998 and May 2007, for allegations ranging from physical abuse, medical neglect, sexual abuse and filthy home conditions.
The family told police that Jason suffered from a medical condition known as myotonic dystrophy, a form of muscular dystrophy characterized by wasting of muscles.