Mom of Durham girl found in van: It was an accident

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The parents say the death of Leslie Ramirez, 3, was a tragic accident.

The family of a 3-year-old Durham girl who died inside a hot minivan this week spoke about the incident Wednesday, calling it an accident.

Leslie Ramirez died Monday night after being found in the van just off Hearthside Street, steps from her home in the Unity Village neighborhood.

During a news conference Wednesday morning, her family talked about their grief and what they say happened.



A family chaplain speaking on their behalf said the girl's mother, grandmother and five children had returned home after eating out and didn't realize the 3-year-old was left behind in the vehicle.



Since police are still investigating the incident, the family gave few details on exactly what happened.

However, the girl's mother, father, and other family members were obviously grief-stricken as they talked outside their apartment on Hearthside Street.

RELATED: Questions linger as Durham mourns young girl found in van

Leslie's mother, Rocio Murillo, said in Spanish "I love my daughter" and that nobody wanted this. Her family says Leslie had autism.

Leslie's grandmother told ABC11 that her daughter thought the 3-year-old was sleeping in her room.



When Leslie's father arrived home Monday evening, he found the girl alone in the van and pulled her out, trying to revive her. But it was too late.

While an autopsy is pending, neighbors who saw the girl after she was pulled out of the vehicle say it looked like she had suffered heat-related injuries.

A memorial with teddy bears and candles is currently outside the home where the van was located.

Leslie is the second child in the state this year to die after being left in a car.

A GoFundMe page has been set up for the family to help pay for funeral expenses.

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The parents of a 3-year-old Durham girl who was left in a hot van spoke out Wednesday

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