RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH

3-year-old left in car, dies

Aug 4, 2004

A 3-year-old Hanover County girl died yesterday after being left by her father inside a sport utility vehicle at Cool Spring Baptist Church in Mechanicsville, authorities said.

The girl had been left in the SUV for a "significant amount of time," said Lt. Doug Goodman, spokesman for the Hanover Sheriff's Office.

"What we need to verify in our investigation is the specific time frame," Goodman said last night. Yesterday, the outside temperature hit the upper 80s and was accompanied by a high heat index.

The identities of the father and girl were being withheld last night. Goodman said the father had business yesterday at the church, but he would not reveal the nature of the father's business.

Goodman said that shortly after 4:30 p.m., the sheriff's office was notified of a child in cardiac arrest at the church.

The father had found the child in the SUV, Goodman said.

Goodman said that when fire and emergency workers arrived at the church on Atlee Station Road, CPR was being administered to the girl.

Emergency workers continued CPR while the girl was being transported to Bon Secours Regional Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead, Goodman said.

An autopsy is to be performed, Goodman said.

Goodman said no charges have been filed in the girl's death, which remains under investigation.

A day-care center is associated with the church, and the sheriff's office yesterday received several calls from concerned parents whose children are enrolled at the center, Goodman said.

"This was an isolated incident. There is no lingering danger at the center," Goodman said. "Any time there is the death of a child, it is tragic. We urge the community to keep the family in their thoughts and prayers."