Coroner: 15-month-old left in van dies
The girl probably died from heat stroke, officials said.
Daily Record/Sunday News

Article Last Updated: 08/18/2008 03:26:10 PM EDT

A 15-month-old girl died Sunday after she was left in a van in her family's Red Lion driveway for nearly three hours, the county coroner said.

York County Coroner Barry Bloss said the child, Cassandra Starr, probably died from hyperthermia, or heat stroke. An autopsy will be conducted Tuesday to determine the cause and manner of her death, Bloss said.

Bloss said that Cassandra's father, Christopher Starr - who is the associate pastor at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Brogue - came home with her and her three siblings about 1 p.m. Sunday. The children's mother, Jenny Starr, got the three oldest children - ages 7, 5 and 4 - out of the car and asked her husband to get the baby and some packages from the van, Bloss said.

Starr retrieved the packages but forgot to get Cassandra, Bloss said.

A few hours later, someone picked up Christopher Starr from the house to take him back to the church, and the family's oldest child went into Cassandra's room and discovered she wasn't there.

Jenny Starr then ran to the van and discovered Cassandra inside, unconscious, Bloss said.

York Area Regional Police are investigating the death. Bloss said he believes Cassandra's death was accidental, although that decision will ultimately rest with York County District Attorney Stan Rebert.

In addition to being the associate pastor at Mount Zion Baptist, Christopher Starr is also the youth pastor, the home school cooperative coordinator, the summer camp director and the discipleship pastor. He also leads a weekly Bible club at Red Lion Area Senior High School.