4-month-old dies in car in Lufkin parking lot

Police believe the infant was left in this Nissan Pathfinder for most of Tuesday.
Police believe the infant was left in this Nissan Pathfinder for most of Tuesday.

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - By Whitney Grunder - email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - An infant child was found dead in a Lufkin business parking lot around 3:30 p.m. Tuesday afternoon.

According to Lufkin Police Det. JB Smith, the baby girl, who was approximately four months old, was in a car in the parking lot of Story-Wright Printing & Office Supply at 222 Shepherd Ave.

"A better part of the day, a baby was left in the car," said Det. Smith.

Smith said police learned of the death when someone was heard making commotion at the business, which is just across the street of the Lufkin Police Department.

Investigators haven't released many details except that the death is believed to have been an accident that was heat-related. However, an autopsy will be conducted on the body.

Cathie Repp works downtown as a registered medical assistant and has four kids of her own.

"It's really sad. It's just horrible for the family, for the momma, for the baby," said Repp.

"I don't see how it could be an accident. How do you leave a four month old in a car as hot as its been this summer?" said Josh Lee, a father and a trainer at Synergy Fitness.

This type of incident is one first responders hope never comes.

"When the ambulance goes off like that, after a run like this, your heart drops. You're just concerned it might be another call like this one," said assistant fire marshal Steve McCool, who has seen several situations similar to Tuesday's.

"911 calls come in from people leaving children in a car. We've even had calls where people leave their children on top of their car," said McCool.

Tuesday's tragedy sends a clear message to parents-- It's not worth the risk.

"A child can't be left unattended by law in the car, so your children need to go with you into every store whether the vehicle is running or not," said Det. Smith.

From the first responders, to parents who rushed out of Lufkin City Hall when they heard the news, a sobering lesson was learned.

"It really hits home. You call your kids when you get a chance," said McCool.

A chance, the parents of a four month old baby girl will never have.

Her name will be released when both parents have been notified of the death, according to Det. Smith.

We are updating this story as it develops. You can find the latest on KTRE.com and the East Texas News.

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