CPS Investigating Death Of 4-Year-Old Found In SUV

JOHNSON COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) – Child Protective Services is now investigating the death of a girl just outside of Cleburne, although police continue to classify the tragedy as an accident.

The parents of Lilly Parsons reported the four-year-old missing around 7 p.m. Monday night.

“The parents noticed that the child, who had been outside had disappeared and they made a quick search and then they called 911,” said Lt. Tim Jones with the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department.

When police arrived at the home they searched for the 4-year-old girl and soon found her in the back of an SUV, parked in the driveway  in the 1200 block of Westlake Road.

Authorities say they still don’t know how Lilly died. “The time of death and the actual cause of death is unknown at this time, pending the medical examiner’s report,” said Jones.

After her body was discovered, officers spent hours looking through the SUV for evidence. Temperatures hovered around 100 degrees on Monday evening. It’s not clear if heat was a factor in the death.

“All indications are this was an accident,” Jones said. “We want to remind people not to leave your children in the car, or elderly people in the car, not saying that’s what happened by any means, but it’s way too hot, you have to be careful.”

Marissa Gonzales, with Child Protective Services says their investigation has begun and the family has no prior history with CPS.

“We don’t have a cause of death yet so we’re not sure what caused this child’s fatality,” Gonzales said. “That’s part of the investigation, interviewing everyone, figuring out what the timeline was and what may have happened.”

Three other children live at the house. All of the kids, an 8-year-old, 6-year-old and an infant, remain in the home with the parents, and other family members.

Now, as the family tries to cope with the loss of a child, the community is pulling together to help in any way they can.

“I just took them lunch today, and introduced them to one of our counselors at church,” said neighbor Brent Easdon, “It’s just the Christian thing to do.”


One Comment

  1. chris says:

    You would think that a 4 year old, being smart and strong enough to get into the suv, would also be smart enough to get back out on their own……..something is not right here.

    1. 2sister says:

      Maybe, but maybe she accidentally hit a child lock button. Also, sometimes kids panic and forget how to do something like unlock doors. I know someone who locked himself in the bathroom when he was 3. He apparently panicked and forgot how to unlock it. A firetruck came to rescue him out the bathroom window. When he heard the sirens, he was curious about the firetruck. He wanted to see the truck, and so he unlocked the bathroom door.

      1. 2sister says:

        According to an updated report on channel 5’s website, it sounds like she might have gone outside without permission. My niece used to try to do this when she was this girls age and younger. My sister had to put an alarm of some kind up that would let her know anytime my niece opened an outside door.

      2. RR Worker says:

        My four door truck has the child lock buttons as do most four door vehicles. The problem is that the buttons are on the front edge of the door and can only be accessed when the door is open and once the door handles are disabled, they remain that way until you physically open the door and move the latch.This latch, at least on my GM truck is not electric, so it must be activated by someone who knows exactly where it is. If the parents routinely keep the inside rear door handles in the disabled condition, then there is no way the child could open the back doors fron the inside and possibly might not even have known about this function anyway.

  2. Crys says:

    AS if either one of you have a clue or know the whole story.

  3. texas says:

    I agree Chris, I do not understand how a 4 year old could open the door to an suv in the first place and close the door behind them. I believe it would be easier to open the door to get back out would be even easier then opening it to get again. I hope this is all accidental, however it does not make much sense.

    1. 2sister says:

      According to channel 5, it sounds like she might have went outside without permission. It says on their website that she recently like to go and hide. As four her being able to open the door to an SUV, you can never underestimated what a child is able to do. My niece had very strong arms when she was little. She also tried to sneak out the outside doors without permission when she was even younger than this little girl. My sister had to put alarms on the doors so that she would know if the outside doors were being opened. Parents are not in the same room with a child 24 /7, and kids can get into things very quickly.

      1. 2sister says:

        Oops. I put four instead of four. I meant to say, As for her….”

  4. Crys says:

    This precious little girl is my childrens cousin and I can guarantee you, you are all wring.
    Be very careful about judging others.

    1. Crys says:

      sorry wrong…..just very upset.

  5. chris says:

    @ Crys…..I dont know the whole story. And I never claimed that I did…….I just said something doesnt seem right. Therefore your comment is pointless.

    1. Crys says:

      The family appreciates your overwhelming concern.

  6. Cynthia says:

    I have known the mom of this precious little girl for over 20 years. there is absolutely no foul play here. this was a very unfortunate accident. I pray for comfort and healing for this family.

  7. Brandy says:

    I have a 4 year old & she is stuck to me like glue when we are home – she doesnt/wont go outside by herself and if we are not in the same room together, she will call for me or I will call for her………I agree something doesnt seem right – but until it happens to you specifically – we shouldnt jump to conclusions nor judge. My prayers are with the family – God bless you.

    1. Memaw says:

      I would guess she is probably you r only child right? When kids have siblings to play with they become less “stuck” to there moms because they have someone else to play with. I have 17 kids and grandkids and they are all different and did of will do dfferent things as 4 year olds. Two sets of my been through the age of four, were twins and even they develope differently. Child proof locks on the inside of a vehicle don’t easily open and again with older siblings she may have never had to unlock a door. Hitting buttons is too a classic for a four year old locking and unlocking the doors by pushing a button may be a skill at 4 that has not yet been mastered in understanding. I have a grandson with autism and when you say we’re going to the store he would run get in the car. In a split second he was out of my sight and out the door. I went straight out after him and he was in the 120 degree car smiling at me with sweat rolling down his face. he had no clue that in 5 minutes he may have been asleep from heat exhaustion and dead in just a few more. I always lock my car no matter how short a time it is in front of my house w/o me in it, and I learned the easy way to do that.

  8. Adam says:

    Reading stories like these choke me up inside. We hear about this all too often. Poor little girl. I have a 4 year old myself and I couldnt imagine losing her. Just makes me want to cry. Parents, please keep up with your children.

  9. Ashley wilkinson says:

    Lets start with nobody can judge but god himself this family does not deserve any of this the parents of thoses 4 beautiful children are some of the best parents out there! Its funny how the world can assume so easily and not even know anything! I know familys out there beat rape and use drugs and cps lets it go and something horrible happens to a family and there murders but our justis system lets people like casey anthony free and become rich when every one on here should be praying for there whole family I have a two year old daughter that can open doors and if they have child safty on they can not be open from the inside! This is a wonderful family did the pictures for my wedding sold us a car when we did not have one they love there kids! The wilkinson family

  10. Land says:

    I’m sorry but if this girl died from heat there was plenty of time to prevent this. And many opportunities.

  11. Ashley Wilkinson says:

    Ok lets start with only GOD can judge! This family did not deserve this they love there 4 beautiful kids dearly its funny how cps is involved when they leave kids with parents who abuse rape and di drugs and our wonderful justis system lets people like casey anthony free and rich!! This family did the pictures for my wedding and sold us a car when we did not have one! Instead of everyone judging and saying things they dont know everyone should be praying for them they lost a child a loved one and for people to know my daughter is 2 and can open doors and childlock can not open from inside

  12. Krissy says:

    Maybe I’m “old school” but whatever happened to watching your children?!?!?!? just saying.

  13. SlappyCheeks says:

    Just because it was a good family does not mean there cannot be foul play, ask my good Christan CPA who is setting in jail for the rest of his life for not only bilking trust funds but also the church fund. God has final judgement, but yes he does let others judge due to having the rule of an eye for an eye.
    If you leave your house and car doors unlocked while at home your just asking for trouble either like this or from a stranger.
    Sure you can’t watch kids 24/7, yet in the daytime you surely can watch them full time until you go to bed or at least close enough to where they couldn’t die in a car from the heat before you missed them amount of time. As a child even watched closely my mother missed me visiting Grandma in the Texas heat and in no time they where out looking for me only to find me playing behind the couch quietly. Yet it didn’t take them over 3 minutes to miss and start hunting me. From a very early age my 18 mo. old sibling and me where taught to look out for each other, yet the parents never relied on that being full proof thus only added protection.
    I do feel sorry for the family, yet it was completely avoidable (locking doors and watching) thus their actions indirectly or directly lead to this death. And it’s not like these kind of storys don’t hit the news very often, children go missing all the time and if lucky are found safely.

  14. Concerned says:

    Well I live in the area and apparently this family has a nanny that has a very questionable background involving children and other things. I have heard a lot of bad things about this woman and it sounds like CPS dropped the ball yet again. I don’t think the famiily is involved, but if they were home and this nanny was there, how does a 4yr. old child go missing long enough to die from exposure to heat. Plus the statement of the grandfather saying that she had begun to hide “lately”; I don’t know but something doesn’t feel right about all of this. I just hope the cops and CPS do some digging before they just sweep this under the rug and move on.

  15. Saddened says:

    How does a seemingly well-to-do, descent family hire someone of “questionable background” to be their childrens’ nanny!? Don’t they do background checks, or did they already have a relationship to this person? It’s all very tragic and perhaps we want to be able to blame someone because otherwise it’s just to overwhelming to accept that another innocent child is gone. Whomever this nanny is I hope that authorities are looking into every possible angle. There is a lot of evil in the world and you can not just chalk everything up to “an accident”!

Comments are closed.

More From CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

Drip Pan: CBS Local App
Drip Pan: Weather App

Watch & Listen LIVE