2-year-old girl dies after being left in car for 9 hours in Osaka Prefecture

The Yomiuri Shimbun
The parking lot where a 2-year-old girl was found dead

OSAKA — A 2-year-old girl died Saturday after her father left her in a car in Kishiwada, Osaka Prefecture, according to police.

The father of the girl found her unconscious in a car in the parking lot of a municipal nursery school in Kishiwada shortly after 5 p.m. Saturday, the Osaka prefectural police said. The child was taken to a hospital where she was confirmed dead.

“I put my three daughters in the car that morning to take them to nursery school, but I forgot to drop off my second-eldest daughter and returned home,” the police quoted the father as saying.

Police believe the father left her in the car for about nine hours before finding her after he went to her nursery school to pick her up. The police are investigating the cause of her death, which may be heat stroke.

The victim lived with her two sisters and her parents. According to her father’s statement to the police, he left home with his three daughters by car at around 7:40 a.m. Saturday.

After dropping off his eldest daughter, 4, and his youngest daughter, 1, at a nursery school in the city, he returned home in the car with the middle daughter, who was supposed to go to another nursery school.

The father took the same car to her nursery school after 5 p.m. He told a staffer that he had come to pick her up, but was informed that she had not come in that day. He then looked inside the car, found her slumped over in the back seat, and called an ambulance at around 5:25 p.m.

He told police that he thought he had dropped her off at the nursery school. He was not working Saturday, and parked the car in a lot adjacent to his house, closed the windows, locked the doors and did not move the car until late afternoon.

Her mother, 35, usually took the three daughters to and from their nursery schools, but she went to work in another car Saturday around the time the father left the house with the girls.

According to the Osaka Regional Headquarters of the Japan Meteorological Agency, the temperature in Sakai, near Kishiwada, reached a high of 24.1 C on Saturday.

The girl had no noticeable external injuries, the police said.