April 23, 2014

Mostly cloudy

Second girl dies from heat-related injuries sustained in parked car

YORK TWP. — A 3-year-old Columbia Road girl died Monday night at the hospital after suffering heat-related injuries last week in a parked car.

Mary McCormick died at 7:29 p.m. Monday at Cleveland MetroHealth Medical Center, where she was listed in critical condition since late Thursday. Mary and her sister, Justina McCormick, 2, were found in a neighbor’s parked car Thursday afternoon. Justina was pronounced dead at or about the time she arrived at Medina Hospital, according to the Medina County Sheriff’s Office.

Justina and Mary were discovered in a gray 2010 Toyota Camry at a residence just north of their home, Chief Deputy Kenneth Baca said. A neighbor saw her car door slightly open and found the girls inside less than an hour after they were reported missing, he said.

The incident involving the two deaths remains under investigation by the Medina County Sheriff’s Office, Baca said.

“We’re continuing to investigate, and when that’s completed we’ll turn (the case) over to the county prosecutor,” Baca said. “Our reports should be completed within the next two weeks.”

No charges have been filed in the case.

A family member of the girls reached at home this afternoon declined to comment about the incident when reached by The Gazette. She did say the family is getting its thoughts together from what has transpired over the past few days.

The incident with Justina and Mary was reported at 4296 Columbia Road around 6:30 p.m. Thursday. It has not been determined by authorities how long the children were in the car.

Medina County Coroner Neil Grabenstetter has said in Justina’s case, “the preliminary results are consistent with hyperthermia. There were no other indications of trauma.”

Justina and Mary’s 13-year-old sister and a 12-year-old friend were watching them while their parents were working Thursday at a county fair booth, the chief said. The grandfather reported the girls missing and said he thought they were napping, according to the 911 call.

Contact Steve Grazier at (330) 721-4012 or at sgrazier@medina-gazette.com.

  • curious

    No charges have been filed and no charges need be filed. This is a very unfornutate accident. Leave these people alone to grieve. Bacca- use your efforts and taxpayer money to arrest real criminals.

  • mollymom

    My 4 yr. old grandson can’t open a car door. He can’t work the handle and the door is too heavy for him to pull open. How could a 2 and 3 yr. old open a car door?

  • curious

    Bestdoggie2– When did your grandchild set the standard for what a kid is able to do? My grandson who is three is able to open a car door and do much more. Rather that cast doubt about something you are unable to acccurately determine due to your obvious bias, why not offer your support and sympathies to the grieving family.

  • mollymom

    Curious -I complement you on your strong grandson. What do you mean “obvious bias”? I asked what I thought was a good question. Why so defensive?

  • moonmagic65

    Bestdoggie2- If curious’s grandson is stong then I guess that makes my 3 yr. old niece superhuman because she to can open a car door. Certain ones that is. If you noticed the car was a new 2010 model. Not only is the height and size of todays compact cars more user friendly for kids to get in and out of those doors are simple and air light to open.
    I believe what curious was trying to point out to you was that your comment came across as to imply that the accident seemed suspicious. The availability of the conditions that were present for these little girls is the detectives job and certainly not for anyone to suspect otherwise in a premature way.
    I have to agree with curious that charges need to be left for the real criminals. There is absolutely no punishment out there that any court could hand down that would out do the self punishment and torture that the parents, grandfather, sibling and friend are already going through within themselves. No doubt for probably the rest of their lives.
    This family needs support and love and certainly not more worry or suspicion, ridicule or judgement. God be with those little girls and their family.

  • medinaexpat

    Tragic, heartbreaking and 100% preventable. That’s what makes this so terrible. It wasn’t a freak accident. It was negligence. I think that child endangering charges aren’t inappropriate.

    I believe that if these children were found roasting in a car in East Cleveland, many people would be calling for an arrest, but since it’s in our back yard, it was just an “accident”.

    Nothing will bring these children back, and any punishment will be insignificant compared to the family’s loss. But somebody is responsible, and I’m sure it will haunt the family forever.

  • missdaisy

    I agree with Medina ExPat, Tragic, heartbreaking and 100% PREVENTABLE. Unless the Gazette reported it incorrectly, how could a 2 and 3 year old be missing for TWO HOURS before someone realized they were missing? Babies and Children are dying day after day even being left alone for 5 minutes. The Gazette stated on August 14th that Baca estimated the girls were inside the vehicle about two hours. I am sorry, but I am sick to my stomach that people cannot remember they have children and dogs. The 13 year department Cincinnati police officer that left his dog in a hot car while responding to a family emergency. I don’t know, let me go see how long it takes me to open my car door and put my dog which is a St. Bernard in the house or pen, plus Cincinnati was under a heat emergency that week. He can’t work, but we will still pay him. Wake Up People, It’s Your World, Pay Attention.

  • ppayne2001

    All I can say is that my prayers go out to this family. And shame on those who have passed judgement on the parents, grandparents and the teenagers. I know what exactly what the family is going through, my 5 year old son and 3 year old son passed away a week before this tragic accident, in a similar situation. Yes, it possible for a child between 2 and 5 years to open doors in a house and vehicles. My 5 year old son could shift through 10 gears in a semi, with no problem. And Beatrice, I pray that you never experience this kind of pain but I also pray that you pay for your judgement you have passed. I didn’t forget I had kids and I’m sure that these girls did not forget they where baby sitting.

  • totellthetruth

    Pam, how did you even find ths 8 MONTH OLD article to comment on? P.S. It was so long ago, Beatrice probably doesn’t even remember commenting on it