3-year-old South Carolina girl dies after found in hot car, deputies say

Hot car

COLUMBIA, S.C. — A 3-year-old South Carolina girl died on Friday after she was found in a hot car, authorities said.

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The Richland County Coroner’s Office identified the child as Armani Shoemaker, WIS-TV reported. Deputies with the Richland County Sheriff’s Department responded after receiving a call about a missing person at about 1 p.m. EDT on May 3 in Columbia, according to the television station.

Deputies investigating the scene found Shoemaker inside a vehicle, WACH-TV reported. The child was taken to an area hospital, where she was later pronounced dead, according to the television station.

According to the Kids & Car Safety website, Shoemaker’s death was the first hot car fatality of 2024. There were at least 29 hot car-related deaths in 2023, the website noted.

It was unclear how the child entered the vehicle.

Temperatures in Columbia reached into the 80s on Friday.

“Our hearts are broken by the life of Armani being cut short by this unexpected tragedy,” Coroner Naida Rutherford said in a statement. “Losing a child is one of the most unimaginable situations that can happen and our thoughts and prayers go out to this family. We will continue working with the Richland County Sheriff’s Department to fully investigate this incident.”

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