NEWPORT, N.H. — A toddler was found dead in frigid, sub-zero temperatures outside her New Hampshire home in what police said was a tragic accident.
WMUR reported that 2-year-old Sofia Van Schoick was found dead outside her Newport home Monday morning after being stuck outside overnight.
A neighbor and his girlfriend found the girl’s body, in pajamas, the next morning after overnight temperatures dropped to 8 degrees below zero.
"I saw a little girl next to the bottom of the stairway," neighbor Shane Rowe said. "I said to myself, 'I hope that's a doll.'"
Rowe’s girlfriend banged on the door and alerted the mother. Emergency responders were called and the girl was pronounced dead.
Preliminary results of an autopsy showed that Van Schoick died of exposure and hypothermia. The death appears to be an accident.
The victim’s family just moved into a new home and the girl would often get up at night and wander around, according to family.
"She was a very precocious 2½-year-old girl, way ahead of her time," said the girl's grandfather, Lindsay Van Schoick. "She was very independent, ahead of her time."