11-Month-Old Girl Found Dead After Being Left in Hot Car for 15 Hours

By Janita Kan
Janita Kan
Janita Kan
Janita Kan is a reporter based in New York covering the Justice Department, courts, and First Amendment.
June 5, 2019 Updated: June 5, 2019

An 11-month-old girl has died after she was left inside a car parked in a driveway at a home in Calverton Park, Missouri for 15 hours, according to reports.

Calverton Park police said they will perform a thorough investigation to determine the circumstances leading to Joseline Eichelberger’s death, reported Fox 2. According to police, EMT responded to a 911 call at the residence in the afternoon of June 2 but they were not able to revive Joseline when they arrived.

Calverton Park Public Information Officer Chris Robertson said temperatures reached up to 79 degrees that day.

“It’s heartbreaking when there’s any life lost especially when you’re dealing with a child and of an age that young,” Robertson told Fox 2.

Robertson told ABC News that no arrests have been made but authorities have spoken to two persons of interest.

Joseline’s grandmother told Fox 2 that the girl was accidentally left in the car. She said both parents thought that the other had taken Joseline out of the car.

“Nobody would intentionally do that,” Lilly Belfield, a family member, told the news station.

“If you saw her smile, laugh, giggle, you would think the same thing.  Nobody would ever hurt this baby,” Belfield added.

In a similar case in Arizona, an 18-month-old girl was found unresponsive in a hot car on April 22, according to police.

The Glendale Police Department told AZ Family that the toddler died after she was left in a car parked at an apartment complex near 51st Avenue and Thunderbird Road, in Glendale, Arizona. Police told the news station that she was left inside the car for “at least a few hours” but the exact amount of time has not been released.

Police said the girl’s father, who found the child, performed CPR on the toddler but the girl could not be revived. She was pronounced dead at the hospital, reported Fox 10.

“Unfortunately and tragically, that baby died inside of that vehicle due to the conditions,” Officer Tiffany Ngalula with the Glendale Police Department told AZ Family.

Authorities have talked to the parents and are investigating the circumstances surrounding her death.

According to an advocacy group Kids and Cars, 37 children die from heat-related deaths after being trapped inside vehicles on average per year. In 2016, 39 children across the United States died because they were left inside a hot car, according to the website No Heat Stroke. In 2017, 5 children died.

In a 19-year period, when about 700 children died of heatstroke inside cars, 54 percent of caretakers said they “forgot” that the child was there, the website found.

The U.S. National Safety Council has stated: “Parents and caregivers can act immediately to end these deaths. Even on relatively mild days, temperatures inside vehicles still can reach life-threatening levels in minutes, and cracking the window doesn’t help.”

“The National Safety Council advises parents and caregivers to stick to a routine and avoid distractions to reduce the risk of forgetting a child. Keep car doors locked so children cannot gain access, and teach them that cars are not play areas. Place a purse, briefcase or even a left shoe in the back seat to force you to take one last glance,” the website says.

NTD reporter Tiffany Meier contributed to this report.

Janita Kan
Janita Kan
Janita Kan is a reporter based in New York covering the Justice Department, courts, and First Amendment.