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3-year-old dies after being left in sweltering car for over an hour outside of Tampa church

5:35 PM, Sep 13, 2010   |    comments
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Rozin Ruebensa

Tampa, Florida -- Tampa Police are investigating the death of a 3-year-old child who they say was left inside a hot car for over an hour on Sunday.

Rozin Ruebensa was taken to Tampa General Hospital after she was left in a hot car for over an hour. Police say her 25-year-old cousin, Rodline Rigby of Tampa took Rozin and two other children to Ebenezer Baptist Haitian Church in Tampa yesterday afternoon, when Rozin was left in the car.

When the service was over, Rigby returned to find her 3-year-old cousin unconscious. That is when parishioners rushed her inside and began CPR. She was transported to TGH, where she died.

"The estimate is the child was in the car for an hour and a half and it was an extremely hot weekend, and it's obviously very dangerous for a child to be left alone in a vehicle that the windows are up and the doors locked. So it appears the child may have died from the heat," said Tampa Police Spokesperson Laura McElroy.

Rigby was also admitted due to the stress. An autopsy is scheduled to take place today and the investigation is ongoing.

Rozin's mother declined to talk about her loss Monday, but other family members described the young girl as playful and always smiling.

"We still (are) in shock. We still think this is a dream that we are living but it's a reality and we're trying to cope with this the best we can," said Marie Sara Trajean, one of Rozin's cousins.

Elyce M. Grimes

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