Toddler found dead inside hot car

ABILENE, Kan. (KSNW) – Officials with the Dickinson County Sheriff’s office confirm 18-month-old Olivia Ann Engstrom was found dead early Sunday evening in the 2800 block of Lark Road outside of Abilene.

Dickinson County Sheriff Gareth Hoffman says the sheriff’s office received the call around 6:15 p.m. and found the child not breathing inside a vehicle outside a home.

“The vehicle was at the home and what we’ve been able to determine so far is that the children were playing on and off throughout the afternoon,” said Hoffman. “It appears as though while some of the children were playing outside [she] was left inside the vehicle.”

Hoffman says the girl was pronounced dead at the scene. They are currently trying to put together a definitive timeline, but at this point say the parents were inside while the children were playing outside. The parents said the last time they remembered seeing the girl was around 2 p.m.

“It’s still pretty early in the investigation, nothing at this time leads us to believe that there is foul play,” said Hoffman. “We will just have to work through the case and see what the end result is. I’m not going to speculate on any criminal charges at this time.”

He said with the heat we’re facing this week, it’s important that people slow down.

“Just a reminder for everybody to slow down and be mindful of the heat,” he said. “It’s easy for us to get busy and get caught up in all the things that we need to do and we need to be mindful of the heat regardless of age, young, old–it doesn’t matter. Heat is a very dangerous thing and it can certainly take over the human body pretty quickly if not monitored.”

Kidsandcars.org says this is the 24th U.S. child that has died this year due to heat stroke in a vehicle compared to 12 children last year at this time.

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