CLEBURNE - A Cleburne family is grieving a tragic accident. The Johnson County Sheriff's department said four-year-old Lilly Parsons died on Monday night. She was found in an SUV 30 minutes after her parents called 911 to report her missing.

The black SUV remains in the driveway. Now, the front window is rolled down.

Brent Easdon is a Cleburne firefighter who lives just across the street. He and the rest of the neighbors are heartbroken. They remember Lilly as the little girl who rode her tricycle up and down the driveway, and left drawings on the mailbox for her parents.

I would suspect right now they are asking the question why? said Easdon. That's the question you always ask. Why is this happening to me? Why has this happened? Why did this happen to a 4-year-old girl.

Investigators were at the Parsons house late into the night trying to figure out why the little girl was alone in an SUV. They said her parents called 911 when they noticed Lilly was missing at 6:45 p.m.

All we know is it was 102 or 104 yesterday and she was inside the vehicle, Lt. Tim Jones said.  She was apparently outside playing, and the parents couldn't locate her and that's what triggered the whole response.

Cook Children's Hospital officials said it takes just 20 minutes for a car to get 29 degrees hotter than the outside temperature. So, the SUV could have been at least 130 degrees inside. When body temperatures hit 107, no one can recover.

Cook Children's Prevention Coordinator Terri Ford said children are not equipped to respond to potential heat stroke.

Their body heat increases 3 to 5 times faster than ours does as adults, Ford said. So, by the time we're hot, our kids are already past that. They can't problem solve and help themselves to get out. So, it all happens very fast, and it can become tragic very quickly.

Deputies still want to know how long Lilly Parsons was trapped in the SUV.

At this point, they are calling her death a horrible accident. The medical examiner is waiting on lab work to determine an official cause of death.

Email: cnorton@wfaa.com

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