9-year-old girl dies in locked car

CHALMETTE, La. (AP) A 9-year-old Arabi girl with cerebral palsy died, one hour after locking herself in the family car, authorities said.

Renee Tusa was hiding from her parents, possibly as a game she's known for playing, and became trapped in the car in Sunday's blazing midmorning heat, said Col. Richard Baumy of the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff's Office.

Baumy said that although an investigation is pending, there does not appear to be any kind of criminal action involved. "She'd hide in the house or hide somewhere," Baumy said. "It's a joke she's been known to do before."

An autopsy was scheduled Monday to determine an official cause of death.

Although the family had special locks on the doors, Baumy said the girl must have figured out a way to get outside to the car around 9 a.m. Sunday. When her parents found her about an hour later, Baumy said the child was unresponsive and pronounced dead on arrival at Chalmette Medical Center.