Linda Long, the grandmother whose grandson died after she forgot him in a hot car for more than eight hours, was not indicted for the crime of reckless homicide.

The move left the boy’s family questioning the legal system.

“There was enough evidence to indict Linda Long,” said Johnathon Nose, Zachary Nose’s father. “The court system has failed us all today.”

Commonwealth’s Attorney Jackie Steele explained that a grand jury, like a circuit court jury is made up of 12 people. The jury hears testimony in a case, after which they deliberate as to what, if any charges may be brought against the defendant.

Unlike a criminal case jury, Steele said the grand jury decision does not have to be unanimous, needing nine of 12 jurors to agree in order to return an indictment.

Steele said the grand jury does not receive any instructions as to what, if any laws may apply. However, the commonwealth’s attorney is there to help them by answering any legal questions the jurors may have.

If the grand jury elects not to return an indictment, Steele said the jurors do not give a reason for their decision.

Because this case is a felony, Steele said there is no statute of limitations, meaning it could be brought before a grand jury again in the future. That decision is made by the commonwealth’s attorney and law enforcement.

Long had been charged in the case after 2-and-a-half-year-old Zachary was found dead in the back of her SUV on Oct. 10.

London Police Lt. Stewart Walker, who led the investigation, said Long, who works at Saint Joseph-London, was supposed drop the boy off at daycare before she went to work. Walker noted that this is not the normal routine.

“She doesn’t usually drive the child,” Walker said previously.

Long went to work about 8 a.m. and returned to the vehicle about 4:45 p.m., at which time she found the boy dead in the back of the SUV still in his car seat.

Laurel County Coroner Doug Bowling estimated the child died about noon. The cause of death was listed as hypothermia - defined as overheating of the body. According to officials at the National Weather Service in Jackson, given the outside temperature of 72 degrees, the temperature inside the vehicle would have exceeded 100 degrees by noon.

Johnathon Nose said he could not disclose whether the family will file a civil suit against Long.

Staff Writer Dean Manning may be reached at

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