Miami officer’s wife dies trapped in back seat of hot patrol vehicle

Published: Aug. 25, 2020 at 9:16 AM CDT
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MIAMI (WSVN) - Authorities said a Miami police officer’s wife died after getting trapped in the backseat of his patrol vehicle for hours in the Florida heat.

According to the Miami Herald, it happened outside the couple’s home in Miami Shores. The officer was off work at the time.

The Miami Herald reports Clara Paulino got in the back seat of the SUV Friday looking for something and then was trapped for about four hours without anyway of contacting anyone. Her family found her.

“I don’t think anybody could imagine anything like that ever happening,” neighbor Daphne Stewart said.

The Miami Herald reported a partition between the back seat and the front seat likely stopped her from being able to honk the horn, and she didn’t have her cell phone with her to call for help.

The heat index around that time Friday climbed from 91 degrees at 1 p.m. to 92 degrees at 3 p.m. The temperature held steady through 5 p.m.

Another South Florida police department displayed a similar police vehicle. It was noted the doors automatically lock upon closing.

The Miami Herald said officer Aristides Paulino covers the midnight shift in Wynwood, got home, fell asleep but may have left his unit unlocked.

Miami-Dade Police Dept. is now investigating how this happened.

“It’s a very unfortunate situation,” Stewart said. “I know, I guess everybody’s trying to figure out but I say for me as far as I, at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter to me. My friend, my neighbor is gone and I’m sure it was horrifying for her and horrifying for her family.”

The Miami Police Department declined to comment on the investigation.

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