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Originally published July 27, 2010 at 9:35 PM | Page modified July 28, 2010 at 9:06 AM

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Autistic man dies in hot van in Pennsylvania

An autistic young man who didn't speak was left in a scorching van at a residential treatment home in suburban Philadelphia, where his lifeless, overheated body was found more than five hours after his small group returned from an amusement park.

The Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA — An autistic young man who didn't speak was left in a scorching van at a residential treatment home in suburban Philadelphia, where his lifeless, overheated body was found more than five hours after his small group returned from an amusement park.

Bryan Nevins, 20, was not deemed missing until a nurse looked for him to give him medication around 4 p.m. Saturday, as temperatures reached the high 90s. Nevins had returned with two other counselors and three other clients around noon from a brief trip to nearby Sesame Place.

Nevins was found in a parked van at Woods Services, a treatment home about 20 miles northeast of Philadelphia in Langhorne, where the native New Yorker had lived since he was about 14.

His twin brother, also autistic, lived at the center as well, authorities said. The surviving twin, who had not been on the outing, left the home with relatives after his brother's death, Middletown Township Detective Jeffry Sproehnle said.

The counselor responsible for Nevins on the trip also served as the van driver. She has been suspended, Sproehnle said.

Police are investigating to see whether any criminal charges are warranted.

Bucks County coroner Dr. Joseph Campbell said Nevins died of hyperthermia and ruled his death accidental.

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