Death of 10-month-old investigated

Police are investigating the death of a 10-month-old girl who was found in a car at the Windward YMCA yesterday afternoon.

The baby's mother discovered the girl in the family's car just before 1:20 p.m. in the YMCA's parking lot at 1200 Kailua Road, police said. They added that the girl was "lifeless" and was taken by ambulance to the Castle Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.

However, the Fire Department said it went to the scene to respond to a report of an apparently lifeless infant locked in a car.

Police have classified the case as an unattended death, pending the outcome of an autopsy and investigation by homicide detectives. No arrests had been made yesterday.

A YMCA employee who asked not to be named because she feared she would lose her job, said the mother was a physical therapist conducting a class in the YMCA's pool. Other employees would not comment.

A witness said the mother was frantic as paramedics took her daughter to the hospital. Windward resident James Pedro said he was weightlifting at the time and saw paramedics working on the girl.

"They were trying to cool her off with damp towels," he said.

As the ambulance left, Pedro said the baby's mother was left behind, wandering frantically through the parking lot until a YMCA employee drove her to the hospital.

"I feel sorry for her," said Kehau Yoza, who lives near the YMCA. "I'm a mom; I just don't understand that."