Baby, 11 Months, Dies After She's Left in Hot Car for More Than 15 Hours: 'Absolutely Heartbreaking'

A relative who went out to move the car found Joseline Eichelberger not breathing

Joseline Eichelberger
Photo: GoFundMe

Police in Missouri are investigating the death of a 11-month-old girl who died Sunday after she was left inside a hot car for 15 to 16 hours.

First responders were called to a home in Calverton Park about 4:30 p.m. Sunday after a relative found Joseline Eichelberger not breathing inside the car, which was parked in the driveway.

“A relative who was going to move the vehicle found the child,” Calverton Park Police spokesman Chris Robertson tells PEOPLE.

First responders were unable to revive her.

“Unfortunately the child passed away from the heat,” Robertson says. “It was approximately 79 degrees that afternoon and inside a vehicle it gets much hotter. The timeline looks to be about 15 or 16 hours the child was left in the vehicle.”

“It is absolutely heartbreaking when you have a life lost at any age, but when it is a child this young it really hits home for most people,” he adds. “We see these stories regularly especially when the heat starts to rise.”

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Robertson says police “have a good picture of what happened but we can’t release those details right now.”

Florissant Valley Fire Protection District spokesman Mark Flauter told KSDK that Joseline was in the car with her parents when they arrived home the previous evening between midnight and 1 a.m.

Family friend Barbara Beckett said the parents are “traumatized” over their daughter’s death.

“You have two young parents,” she told KMOV. “One telling one to get the child and other telling the other…you know, mistakes are made. It’s a nightmare, they are traumatized. They can’t stop crying.”

“I feel like a piece of my heart is gone because she was a part of me,” Joseline’s cousin Lilly Bellfield said, KMOV reports.

Robertson says so far no arrests have been made.

A GoFundMe page has been set up by Joseline’s grandmother to help pay for her funeral expenses.

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