2-year-old Girl Found Dead in Hot Minivan at NJ PATCO Station
LINDENWOLD — A young girl was found dead in a hot minivan parked at the PATCO station on Friday afternoon, authorities say. A family friend told a news station she was just 2 years old.
First-responders tried to revive the child who had been left for an unknown amount of time, according to Mike Williams, spokesman for the Delaware River Port Authority, which operates the PATCO commuter line. Williams said the Camden County Prosceutor's Office is leading the investigation.
Temperatures had been in the 80s Friday.
PATCO President John Hanson told the Cherry Hill Courier Post the child was first noticed around 4 p.m. and police began looking for the owner of the silver-colored vehicle.
Helicopter footage by 6 ABC Action News and other media outlets showed the vehicle surrounded by yellow police tape and shattered glass on the ground. Some of the windows were covered with plastic. The owners of several cars parked adjacent to the mini van were blocked in by the investigation.
A friend of the child's family told CBS Philly at the parking lot the child was a 2-year-old girl who suffocated.
The Prosecutor's Office did not immediately return a message on Saturday morning.
"A child's body heats up three to five times faster than an adult's body," AAA/Mid-Atlantic spokeswoman Tracy Noble told the Townsquare News Network previously. "On a 95-degree day, a car can heat up to over 180 degrees. And it only takes temperatures at 104 degrees for internal organs to start to shut down. So even in a matter of moments we can have a catastrophe on our hands."
New Jersey's only other death of a child left inside a car this year was a 21-month-old girl left inside a car parked in the driveway of a Lakewood home for two hours in May. The girl's mother, Chaya Shurkin, was charged with endangering the welfare of a child.