Elkhart County 5-year-old found dead

ELKHART, Ind.-- Elkhart County police are investigating the death of a 5-year-old girl.

The girl was found unconscious and not breathing at her home early Sunday morning. Once on scene, paramedics were unable to resuscitate her.

ABC57 spoke briefly with the girl’s family who said they would like to make a  comment but they are being advised by “authorities” to refrain from a comment until an official statement has been released.

For neighbors, the young girl’s death is a tragedy.

“It’s quiet. Very quiet.”

That’s how Patti Doty describes her rural county road. But at about 9:00 a.m. on Sunday morning, the neighborhood was anything but.

“We got up and we saw all of them down there. The cops were all down there,” explained Doty. “And it was all roped off and it was a shock.”

Emergency services were called to 59983 County Road 1, the intersection of County Road 26 and County Road 1, in response to a young girl unconscious and not breathing. For next-door neighbor Doty, the commotion was unsettling.

“I was worried,” said Doty.  “Like, ‘Why are they all over there, what’s going on?’ It was even more shocking to find out it was a 5-year-old little girl.”

Doty said the family next door primarily keeps to themselves. But for her, just the idea of losing a child in the community is devastating.

“It hurts,” said Doty.  “Even though we don’t know her, we lost one of our community members.”

Police said the investigation is still ongoing, but they do not suspect foul play. The autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday but police say they believe the girl’s death was related to a long-term illness or injury.

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