A 1-year-old toddler roasted in a hot car Sunday, while her minister dad attended church. The baby’s body was discovered by her father, Odane James, (pictured above with wife, Tiffany) at around 3:15 p.m. Sunday, three hours after he left her in the vehicle. It was not known if James, who is the pastor of Holiness Born Again church in Miramar, Fla., about 20 miles north of Miami, was preaching on that sweltering 100 degree-plus day.
Church-goers immediately gathered around the 28-year-old father and his little girl, Kimberly. While some members tried to resuscitate the child who was not breathing, the remaining parishioners stood outside the place of worship crying and screaming as emergency personnel arrived. Hordes of police and an ambulance made their way through the crowd; the child was rushed to a nearby hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
James, who emigrated to these shores from Jamaica nearly 20 years ago, has not been charged with the toddler’s death, but police are still investigating.
Hours after the tragic turn of events, church members still remained on the premises in a state of shock, while police gathered information and statements from them and took pictures.
According to the organization Kids and Cars, which maintains a national database tracking deaths and injuries to children left unattended in or around motor vehicles, Kimberly, sadly, is the 49th child this year to succumb to this deadly practice.
President Janette Fennell told the Miami Herald, “The most important thing to understand is that this can happen to anyone. If anything, it does tend to happen to the better parents. As little as 8 percent involve drugs and alcohol. This can happen to college professors and dentists and ministers, really the pillars of our society.”