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Girl, 14, Dies After Being Trapped In Hot Car With Faulty Locks At School

Fri, September 13, 2013 3:56pm EDT by Kristine Kowalski 8 Comments
14-Year-Old Girl Dies
Courtesy Photo

How tragic! A young girl died in her brother’s car after she was left in the car while he went to class. The freshman was found by her older siblings after a full day of classes.

14-year-old Graciela Martinez was found dead in her brother’s car on Sept. 11 after being locked in the hot vehicle all day outside of Madera South High School in California. The teen overheated in the car, which had faulty locks and a non-functioning horn.

14-Year-Old Girl Dies In Hot Car At California High School

Graciela’s brother explained that he left her in the car when he went to his first at 6:40 a.m. because her first class was not until 7:40 a.m. Investigators believe that she was sleeping in the car when her brother left. She had no cell phone, water, or food with her in the car.

The heat inside the car rose to upwards of 130 degrees, which investigators believe was the cause of the girl’s death. Medical examiners are still working to determine whether or not she had any other medical conditions that would have caused her death, and an autopsy is underway. She was found covered in sweat in the car by her brother and sister.

Faulty Car To Blame For Teen’s Death

Investigators found that there could be a problem with the car’s locks that would have prevented the girl from opening them from the inside, reported ABC 30. They also found that the car’s horn would not work if there were no keys in the ignition.

The teen’s friends and family described her as “reserved,” and worried that she may have waited for help rather than make big efforts to flag someone down or get out.

“There does not appear to be anything criminal in nature at this stage of the investigation,” Police Detective Sgt. Robert Salas said.

WATCH: Girl Dies In Hot Car Outside Of Madera High School

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  3. Mother Gets 35 Years For Leaving Son, 2, To Die In Hot Car