ALLOWAY — A 2-year-old girl died when her South Jersey mother left the daughter in car and got high on drugs Saturday, police say.

Salem County Prosecutor John T. Lenahan told the girl's death remains under investigation after she was found dead in a car parked in the driveway of Deanna J. Joseph's Timberman Road home with the engine running and the heat on in a car seat around 9:45 p.m.

Deanna J. Joseph, 39, called police after she found the toddler unresponsive, police said. She was charged with second-degree child endangerment.

The report also said she was convicted in 2014 of cruelty and neglect of a child after she was found unresponsive as her 11-month old son bathed in several inches of water. According to the report at the time, she was found near spoons and glassine envelopes with heroin residue, as well as several rocks of crack cocaine.

The report also cited a Burlington County Times story saying she was arrested in 2008 after being found high in a parking lot; Evesham police found she'd left her children, 11 and 2 years old, alone at home at the time.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at

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