A preliminary autopsy report has revealed that Graciela Martinez died due to heat stroke. Other lab tests attached to the autopsy are still being processed. There’s no time table of when police will have those results.
“She was my only sister. I don’t know if I can get through it,” said Patricia Martinez, the victim’s sister.
Patricia Martinez and her family are in disbelief that 14-year old Graciela is gone. A makeshift memorial in their home now serves as their only way of seeing the teenage girl.
“She got straight A’s and wouldn’t have problems with the teachers or nothing,” said Martinez.
Police initially thought Martinez simply fell victim to heat exhaustion Wednesday while taking a nap in her brother’s car which was parked in the lot of Madera South High School.
But new questions popped up Thursday during an examination of the 1997 BMW that Martinez was in. Investigators believe it may have had an electronic malfunction which was caused when the car door was locked with the key.
“You can’t open the doors even if you’re inside the vehicle,” said Detective Daniel Foss of the Madera Police Dept.
Graciela became trapped inside the hot vehicle for a total of eight hours.
Patricia says they’ve never experienced this problem.
“My brother when he turns on the car everything is ok. He locks and unlocks it, said Martinez.
Many may wonder why Graciela didn’t just kick out a window. Cops say she certainly may have tried.
“She is a small, petite 14-year old girl, so would she feasibly be able to get out of a car? It would be very difficult. She would have to try very hard,” said Det. Foss.
The absence of this freshman student has the Madera Unified School District offering its condolences.
“I would ask the community to put their collective arms around this family as they go through this very dark time,” said Madera Unified Superintendent, Edward Gonzalez.
Copyright 2013 cbs47.tv Nexstar Broadcasting, All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.