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Toddler dies in car while pastor father attends church

Odane James left his 1-year-old daughter, Kimberly James, 
in a car for hours while he went to church.


A 1-year-old Florida girl baked to death after she was left behind in a sweltering car — where temperatures exceeded 100 degrees—while her father attended church.

The dead girl's father, Odane James, 28, is believed to be the pastor of the Holiness Born Again church in Miramar, about 20 miles north of Miami, reported London's Daily Mail.

James discovered his daughter's lifeless body around 3:15 p.m. after church services ended on Sunday. She was left in the car for approximately three hours. The little girl, whom churchgoers tried to revive, was rushed to a nearby hospital where she was pronounced dead.

It's unclear if James was preaching that day or if he was just attending services.

According to the Miami Herald, parishioners stood in shock nearby, still dressed in their Sunday best.

Guy Italien, a nearby restaurant owner, told the newspaper, "I saw a police officer come here. Then many, many more."

He went outside and saw a police officer holding the motionless toddler. Italien said he recognized the child as part of the pastor's family.

The death of the small girl was ruled accidental. The father has not been charged in connection with the death.

"We're consulting with the State Attorney's Office to see if charges will be filed," Miramar police spokeswoman Tania Rues told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. "It's an ongoing investigation."

According to James' website, odanejames.com, he was born in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

James and his family moved to Miami when he was 9 years old, and he quickly went down a religious path. He gave his first sermon at the age of 13 and was ordained a minister when he was 19, according to his online biography.

Kimberly is the 49th child to die in the U.S. after being left in a hot car, according to the nonprofit group Kids and Cars. In Florida, Kimberly was the sixth such death this year.


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