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3-year-old girl in Gilbert dies after being left in hot car for hours

(KTAR News Photo/Ali Vetnar)

PHOENIX – A 3-year-old girl died Tuesday afternoon after being left in a hot car for several hours outside a Gilbert home, authorities said.

Rescue teams responded to a residential area near Higley and Elliot roads just past noon after more than one call came in about a child in a vehicle, according to Sgt. Mark Marino of the Gilbert Police Department.

“It was reported that a 3-year-old child was left in a car for 2-3 hours,” Marino told KTAR News 92.3 FM.

First responders performed CPR and other medical intervention and took her to a hospital, where she was declared dead.

No details about how the girl was left in the car were made available.

On Wednesday afternoon, Gilbert police said in a press release detectives were finished processing the scene but the investigation was ongoing.

The release said the decision on whether criminal charges would be submitted will be made once the investigation is finished. It also said the department plans to release the girl’s name as well as 911 call information Friday.

According to, it was the 39th child hot car death in the U.S. this year, the third in Arizona and the second in the Valley.

In April, an 18-month-old girl died after being left in a car at a Glendale apartment complex.

The high temperature in Phoenix on Tuesday was 109 degrees.

As of Aug. 24, 32 heat-related deaths had been confirmed in Maricopa County this year.

Gilbert police offered the following measures to prevent similar incidents:

  • Always check the back seat and make sure all children are out of the car before locking it and walking away.
  • Avoid distractions while driving, especially cellphone usage.
  • Be extra alert when there is a change in your routine, like when someone else is driving your child or you take a different route to work or to child care.
  • Have your child care provider call if your child is more than 10 minutes late.
  • Put your cellphone, bag, purse or some other item in the back seat, so you check your back seat when you arrive at your destination.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Taylor Kinnerup contributed to this report.

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