Heat Might Be Factor In 8-Year-Old’s Death

MIDTOWN ST. LOUIS (KTVI)- St. Louis City Health officials are investigating the death of an 8-year-old child in a city housing complex. They want to know if heat was a contributing factor to her death. Early Friday, the young girl was taken from her housing high-rise in the 3500 block of Franklin and rushed to Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center, where she later died.

St Louis City Health Director Pam Walker tells Fox 2 News the young girl suffered from a pre-existing medical condition and it is unclear why she died. She was unresponsive when she arrived at Cardinal Glennon and was pronounced dead a short time later.

Officials with the City’s Housing Authority checked the girl’s residence at the complex. Her mother and grandmother both have apartments and both were found to have working air conditioning units. The Health Department says both apartments were around 74 degrees. However, the girl may have been resting in a second bedroom in one of the units, and that bedroom did not have a window air unit, and was warmer than the rest of the apartment.

Because of those factors and the child’s age, the city will have its Child Death Review Team look into the nature of the girl’s death. Health officials also indicate an autopsy will be conducted soon and this may be a case where heat will be listed as a contributing factor to her death. They don’t want to speculate on the cause of death and will let the investigative process take its normal path.

Residents from the housing complex called Fox 2 News earlier in the day complaining there was no working air conditioning in many units. City officials tell us they have checked these complaints and found working air conditioning in the building. However, they continue to investigate all of the complaints.