Police: 2-year old found dead in car had been there ‘for hours’


SALISBURY, NC (FOX 46) — Police say a 2-year old girl who was left in the car for hours was dead when emergency crews got to her by breaking the window and cutting the car seat straps inside a vehicle that was parked at the VA Medical Center in Salisbury Thursday.

“It’s a tragic situation for everybody involved, even the co-workers and everybody who was out there for the support for each other, and that’s police, fire, EMS, everyone involved,” said Captain Sheila Lingle with the Salisbury Police Department.

Officers said at 4:37 p.m. Thursday, October 6 they were called to the W.A. Hefner VA Medical Center located at 1601 Brenner Ave. to assist the VA Police in reference to a death investigation.

Earlier, VA police received a call from a worker at the facility who observed a child left in a vehicle behind Building 7. When they arrived, they forcibly entered a black Chevrolet passenger car and retrieved the child who was strapped in her car seat. 

CPR was administered until fire and EMS arrived. The 2-year-old girl was pronounced dead at the scene. The mother of the child worked at the facility, police say.

Police it was the mom’s co-worker who saw the toddler in the back of the car and called police just after 4:30 p.m. Thursday.

Investigators are waiting on autopsy results to determine exactly how the child died, Fox 46 Charlotte has been told one of the first responders said it was hot when he entered the car.

“For an example, say it was 74 degrees outside, and on the inside of the vehicle, after sitting there for so long, with the windows rolled up, it can get as hot as 125 degrees,” said Capt. Lingle.

Investigators have not released the child’s or the mother’s identity.

Police say the situation was “out of the routine” for the mother, they’re still investigating and haven’t said if charges will be filed.

Salisbury detectives are working the case with the assistance of the VA Police.

The Salisbury VA Medical Center made the following statement: 

We were heartbroken to learn of the tragic death of an employee’s child on our campus this afternoon. We are a close-knit family here at the Salisbury VA Medical Center and we want to extend our deepest condolences to all those suffering from this loss. We ask the community to please keep all of those impacted in your thoughts and prayers. VA is cooperating with the Salisbury Police Department as they conduct their investigation. We are committed to helping our employees cope with this painful loss and our teams are standing by to offer any support they need.  


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