law enforcement source

Lakewood Mother Charged in Death of Toddler Who Was Left in Hot Car for Hours

Chaya Shurkin faces charges of endangering the welfare of a child

What to Know

  • Chaya Shurkin, 25, was charged with child endangerment Monday in the May 6 death of her child, who was left alone in a hot car for hours
  • Cops responding to a 911 call that afternoon found a neighbor giving CPR to the little girl, who was just shy of 2; she died soon thereafter
  • At the time of her death, a source told News 4 the girl's mom tried to take her to day care but the child didn’t want to go in so they left

A Lakewood mother faces child endangerment charges after her toddler daughter died following more than two hours alone in a closed, hot car.

Chaya Shurkin, 25, was charged Monday in the May 6 death of her child. Police received a call that afternoon for a child in distress, and found a neighbor giving CPR to the little girl, who was just shy of 2 years old. She died a short time later.

“A thorough and extensive investigation revealed that the child had been left alone in Shurkin’s motor vehicle for approximately two-and-one-half hours with the car turned off, in the heat," Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer said in a statement. 

At the time of her death, a law enforcement source told News 4 the toddler’s mother tried to take her to day care, but the child didn’t want to go in, so they drove home together. 

At that point, there was a miscommunication about whether the toddler’s mother or father would bring the toddler in from the car, the source said.

Temperatures were in the 60s and 70s that day; however, it doesn't take long for the inside of cars to heat up. On a 70-degree day, temps inside a car can skyrocket to near 90 degrees in just 10 minutes and more than 100 degrees in 30 minutes, Storm Team 4 said.

Attorney information for Shurkin was not immediately available. 

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