A 2-year-old girl has been found dead in the back seat of a car in a New Jersey driveway after she was able to stay there for more than seven hours on a particularly hot summer day, sources say. NBC.
The child was found around 14:00 p.m. Aug. 30 in a car parked outside a Franklin Township home, law enforcement sources familiar with the situation said. The policemen opened the car doors and stated that the girl was dead.
Neighbors on a quiet suburban street said the parents didn't seem to notice the child in the car.
They said the officers knocked on the front door of the house after they found the child. Then the screams of the parents were heard when they learned about what had happened.
“They just screamed in pain and longing. The mother collapsed to the ground, and the husband went to comfort her,” the neighbor said. “They are great parents. I saw how they love their children very much and take care of their daughters.”
Another neighbor said the child's mother was taken away in an ambulance after she collapsed on the front lawn.
"How could this happen? How can you forget a child? We are all forgetful, I also forgot things in the car. But how can you forget a baby there? I don’t understand,” neighbor Alex Krstavsky was perplexed.
Law enforcement officials said it was unclear if the toddler was in a car seat.
“Authorities have notified the New Jersey Northern Regional Medical Examiner's Office, which will begin an investigation. No details will be made public at this time while the investigation is ongoing,” Deputy Police Chief Frank Roman said in a statement.
He clarified that it was not clear whether the car was locked or unlocked. A few hours later, the car was towed away, and a bouquet of flowers was left in the driveway to mark the site of the tragedy.
It is unclear who was supposed to look after the child during this time. An organization called Kids and Car Safety said there were 2022 child car deaths in the US in 22, including this incident. Sue Auriemma, who works with the group, is pushing for warning systems to be mandatory in all new cars.
“This is the kind of tragedy that makes no difference. In many cases, this is due to impaired brain memory, Auriemma noted. “Unfortunately, the biggest mistake parents can make is thinking that this can’t happen to them.”
The investigation continues.