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1-year-old girl left in car dies from suspected heatstroke near Tokyo

Chiba Prefectural Police headquarters (Mainichi/Mayumi Nobuta)

CHIBA -- A 1-year-old girl died from suspected heatstroke in a car after her mother dozed off inside the parked vehicle in Yachiyo, Chiba Prefecture, on July 22, police said.

    At around 10:40 a.m., a 25-year-old woman called emergency services from a parking lot in the city, saying, "My daughter, who was sleeping inside my car, is not breathing."

    The girl, the second daughter of the woman, was rushed to the hospital, but was confirmed dead due to suspected heatstroke.

    According to the Chiba Prefectural Police's Yachiyo Police Station and other sources, the woman says she took a nap inside the car at the parking lot of her condominium for about three hours and after waking up, took her 3-year-old daughter -- who was in the backseat -- home, while leaving the 1-year-old in the passenger seat. When she returned to the vehicle, she reportedly found the younger daughter unconscious.

    The woman had worked a night shift at an eatery and was apparently on her way home after picking up her two children from an acquaintance's home. She told police that she had the car air conditioner running. There was no roof over the parking lot.

    Police are investigating the cause of the infant's death, among other circumstances.

    (Japanese original by Tomohiro Shibata, Chiba Bureau)

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