13-year-old with special needs dies after being left in hot car

Two people are now in custody
Posted at 4:47 PM, Aug 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-07 16:47:33-04

A South Carolina teenager with special needs died after being left in a hot vehicle on Monday and two people have now been arrested in connection to the death, authorities said.

Police arrested Rita Pangalangan, 49, and Larry King, 41, in connection with the 13-year-old girl's death, the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday.

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Authorities did not reveal the circumstances of the child's death, but said she may have been inside the car for more than two hours.

She was apparently unable to get out of the car herself, police said.

The county seat, Walterboro, saw temperatures in the high 80s on Monday.

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"Once on the scene, emergency responders found a 13-year-old girl lying on the ground next to a vehicle. Upon further investigation, the juvenile was declared deceased," the Colleton County Sheriff's Office said in a statement Tuesday. "Rita Pangalangan and Larry King were at the scene and transported to Sheriff’s Office headquarters for questioning."

Pangalangan works in early childhood education for the Colleton County School District, according to an online district staff directory. District spokesman Sean Gruber told local news outlets she's been placed on paid leave.

Both suspects were being held at the Colleton County Detention Center and were denied bond.

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The Colleton County Sheriff's Office is investigating the case with assistance from the State Law Enforcement Division.