3-year-old NC girl celebrating her birthday dies at inflatable play center

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MATTHEWS, N.C. — Police are investigating after a 3-year-old girl died while celebrating her fourth birthday at Monkey Joe’s.

Police responded to a child in distress call around 5 p.m. Saturday and discovered the girl, according to WCNC. She was taken to a local hospital and later passed away.

The little girl’s grandmother identified her as Erin Washington.

Family member Ebony Washington created a GoFundMe account in her honor.

“She touched more lives than people who live to be a hundred,” the account said. “Help us remove the financial burden so her friends and family can focus on grieving. Anything helps whether it’s through donating, sharing or simply just praying for them.”

The account has $3,855 of its $4,000 goal.

Monkey Joe’s released a statement on Saturday:

We are deeply saddened by the passing of a young child in our facility yesterday. Our thoughts and prayers are with this child’s family and friends during this difficult time.

Police have not released a cause of death.