Parents were helping a relative move last Sunday when a miscommunication turned into a tragedy.
Twenty-month-old Khloe Villarreal was sleeping on the third-row seat in the couple’s Lincoln Navigator as they loaded it up for the move, but the girl’s mother didn’t know she was there, according to WRTV.
The Indiana mother pushed the button to automatically fold down the seat to make more room as they filled up the SUV; then, the parents drove away. About 10 minutes into the drive, they noticed their daughter was gone.
Grant County Coroner Chris Butche said it was too late to save Villarreal by the time the toddler’s mother and father realized they mixed up their daughter’s location. The toddler suffocated and died while she was trapped inside the folded-up seat.
The child’s tragic death shines a light on one more danger for children’s safety inside vehicles, in addition to seat belts, kids’ car seats, and leaving them inside hot vehicles.
The prosecutor will decide if the mother and father will be charged for the death of their daughter, whose lifeless body was discovered underneath their SUV’s seat after they lost track of where she was during the move.
See more about the toddler’s death below.