SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - A 3-year-old girl was found dead inside a car outside a home in Shreveport's Ingleside neighborhood Friday afternoon.
Police say they received a 911 call from the little girl's mother around 4:30 p.m. Friday afternoon. When officers arrived at the home in the 3000 block of Desoto Street, they found the child unresponsive in her mother's Buick LeSabre. Police say the mother told them she left the car exactly as she found it, with the windows rolled up.
Police say the little girl is believed to have been in the car for 16 to 19 hours.
An autopsy will be done to determine the child's cause of death. While it's not known if heat was a factor in her death, temperatures reached a high of 93 in Shreveport on Friday, and temperatures inside a vehicle can be more than 50 degrees higher when the windows are rolled up. KSLA News 12 Chief Meteorologist Stephen Parr says temperatures inside a vehicle under Friday's conditions could have risen to 120 degrees or more.
The child's mother, who has two other children, told officers that she made the discovery as she was getting ready to go to work. Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the child's death.
"That's unclear at this moment, how, what took place that led up to the child not being accounted for such a long period of time," says SPD Cpl. Marcus Hines. "That's a question that we're all trying to determine right now."
Cherrie Delafosse, the victim's grandmother, says she struggling to make sense of the tragedy. "Maybe she (her daughter) just forgot she was in the car, but this is not like Crystal."
We caught up with Delafosse just as emergency personnel began to clear the scene. Delafosse said she had not been able to speak with her daughter about what happened. But, she had one message for her: "Crystal, I know you're hurting. I'm hurting too. Whatever happened I know you didn't mean nothing and I love you."
Delafosse's boyfriend, James Hampton, says the little girl's mom was supposed to pick up the 3-year old last night from a relative's home, and then stop by their home. But they could never reach the mother by phone Thursday night or Friday morning.
Hampton lamented, It's one of those that we may not never have the answer to. Just might have been meant for her to go this way and I hate it. She was a great little girl. She was a great little girl."