A New Jersey toddler was left to die in a hot car by her father, a neighbor who witnessed him discover the child’s body has said.

Megan Kingston told reporters that she saw the unnamed dad rush out to lift his two year-old daughter from the Honda SUV on Tuesday afternoon.

The little girl had reportedly been left there for eight hours in sweltering heat, which Kingston says ran to 92 degrees that afternoon.

Previous reporting claimed the toddler, who hasn’t been named, was left in the vehicle by her mom Beatriz Viera LeChard, 38. But Kingston says LeChard was at work throughout – and that she became hysterical on returning to discover her daughter was dead. 

Kingston, who works as first lieutenant for Middle Bush Fire Department said she was working from home at around 2:00 pm when she saw the child’s dad run out of the garage and open a door to their Honda, which was parked outside. 

She said: ‘The father was running inside with the child and I was right behind him. We went into the kitchen of the home, she was unresponsive. We began CPR. I called over the radio to get rescue units here to try and revive the child.’

‘I performed CPR probably 15-20 minutes. I asked the father to assist me with CPR. I tried to help keep the father calm and had him deliver breaths while I was doing the CPR to rapidly cool her down. We put ice packs behind her neck. The child was very warm.’

Shortly afterwards, three ambulances, 20 cops, four paramedics and two doctors arrived on the scene.

At 2:45pm, Beatriz LeChard arrived home ‘frantic and emotionally distraught,’ according to Kingston. It is unclear if she had already been told of the horror unfolding. 

Neighbors previously told of their horror at hearing the bereaved parents’ keening wail ringing through their area.  

She was put in an ambulance and taken to the Robert Wood Johnson hospital in New Brunswick, which has a specialist pediatric trauma center. 

Tragically, her daughter later died. 

Kingston said: ‘It’s heartbreaking. I feel for the family.’

Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office has now opened an investigation into the toddler’s death, although it is unclear if criminal charges will follow.  

On Thursday, LeChard was photographed leaving her home.

She wore sunglasses and a purple t-shirt, with much of her face obscured by her hair.  It remains unclear how her daughter came to be forgotten in the back of the car, although it is feared the youngster may have been left in the vehicle for up to seven hours. 

Police believe the child may have been in the car for as long as seven hours while temperatures soared to 80 degrees.  

LeChard said nothing as she returned to the home today accompanied by another, unidentified woman. A Puerto Rico native, LeChard works as a translator for Bloomberg.  

Neighbors along the quiet tree-lined street said they were devastated by the child’s death. 

‘They are nice people. It’s such a tragedy,’ a neighbor said.

‘How can that happen? How do you forget? I guess we’re all forgetful, I’ve forgotten things in the car.  But how do you forget the toddler, you know? I don’t know,’ neighbor Alex Krstavski said. 

‘They were just screaming in pain and anguish. She collapsed to the ground and he went to console her,’ another neighbor told reporters. 

‘They’re great parents. I’ve seen them be very loving and doting on their daughters.’

Treana Huntley, who lived opposite them, said the sound of the parents’ wailing was devastating.

‘It was gut-wrenching, almost made me want to break into tears. As a mother, just hearing that pain from another mother, it was very hurtful to hear. I wouldn’t wish that on anybody.’ 

She said the death has struck the entire neighborhood. This whole block was very emotional,’ she said. 

The child is the 22nd to die this year in the U.S. from being left in a hot car, four of which happened in a week’s time in August.

Original Article