law enforcement

2-Year-Old Girl Died After Being Left Overnight in Car

An investigation is underway into the death of a 2-year-old girl who was left in a car during overnight hours in the unincorporated area of Torrance and died last week.

The toddler's mother told law enforcement she had secured her sleeping daughter in a child safety seat and turned on the heater and rolled up the windows because it was chilly, according to a copy of the Coroner's report provided by a member of the father's family. The mother said she was drinking with a friend in an adjacent car, but fell asleep, and it was several hours before she awakened at 5 a.m. and found her daughter overheated and unresponsive. The mother said she attempted to revive the toddler with a stream of water from a garden hose, according to the account in the report. 

Deputies from the sheriff's Carson Station went to the 22400 block of South Vermont Avenue on Sept. 23 on a call of a "baby not breathing," said Deputy Juanita Navarro-Suarez.

"When deputies arrived, they found a 2-year-old baby girl unresponsive," Navarro-Suarez said.

Paramedics took the girl to a hospital, where she died.

"The 34-year-old mother, who was at the location, was interviewed along with several witnesses," Navarro-Suarez said. "It is unknown if drugs and/or alcohol were involved."

The coroner classified the death as "accident/homicide," with cause yet to be determined.

The Sheriff's Homicide Bureau is investigating but has not drawn a conclusion as to whether a crime was committed, and no arrests have been made.

Anyone with information on the case was urged to call the Sheriff's Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500, or Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS.

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