The wife of a Florida policeman has died after being trapped inside his SUV as the temperature outside rose to the 1990s, according to a report.
The Miami Herald reports that Clara Paulino’s fingerprints were found all over the interior of a Ford Explorer after the horrific accident outside their home in the Miami Shores on Friday.
“It was clear that she was panicking and trying to get out,” a law enforcement source told the newspaper.
Paulino, 56, apparently climbed into the back seat while looking for something, and was then trapped there by a door-locking mechanism, which prevents it from opening from the inside.
Paulino was not carrying a cell phone, and a safety barrier prevented her from reaching the front seat to sound a help horn, according to the Herald.
“It’s literally a cage,” said a Miami policeman of the back seat of the patrol car.
Paulino’s husband, Aristides Paulino, who had been a Miami cop for 25 years, was asleep at their home after the midnight shift when the tragedy unfolded on Friday afternoon, according to the Herald.
Aristides, 58, and the couple’s son, found Clara’s body around 5:30 p.m. The newspaper said it was up to four and a half hours after I was trapped.
Sources told the Herald it was unclear why she got into the SUV, which her husband left open in their driveway when he got home and went straight to bed late Friday morning.
Investigators were treating Clara’s death as an accident but she remained under investigation by the Miami Dade Police Department’s Murder Office.
“It’s very preliminary,” Police spokesman Lieutenant Carlos Rosario told the Herald.
“There is still a lot of work to be done. But for now, it’s an unclassified death.