‘She was adorable’: Neighbor recalls Mason baby left in mom’s hot car

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‘She was adorable’: Neighbor recalls Mason baby left in mom’s hot car

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A 15-month-old girl, Sofia Aveiro, was pronounced dead after being found in her mother s vehicle in the Procter & Gamble parking lot in Mason on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017. The death is likely heat related, the Warren County Coroner s Office said.

A neighbor held back tears Friday as she talked about her friend, Karen Osorio-Martinez, the Procter & Gamble scientist who called 911 Wednesday and said she found her 15-month-old daughter dead in a car that had been in the work parking lot all day.

“I don’t know what happened,” said the neighbor, who declined to be identified. “I don’t know if she was distracted. I don’t know.”

In a search warrant affidavit filed Friday morning, Mason Detective Jeff Wyss said Osorio-Martinez told police she was running late to work that day and usually drops off her daughter, Sofia Aveiro, at day care.

No charges have been filed, though the investigation is continuing. Police seized a Graco 4Ever car seat, a car seat pad, sunscreen and Mickey Mouse shoes from Osorio-Martinez’s vehicle, according to the affidavit.

The rear-facing car seat was located in the back of the vehicle behind the driver’s seat, according to the court records.

‘My baby just died’

Osorio-Martinez and her husband, Henrique Aveiro, the baby’s father, both work at P&G, though Aveiro works at a different facility. He was not in the car when Osorio-Martinez arrived at work.

The search warrant affidavit, first reported by this newspaper, revealed that Aveiro attempted to pick up Sofia at day care later that day but was told she was not there. In her 911 call, which came at 5 p.m., Osorio-Martinez told police her daughter had spent the entire day in the car.

“My baby just died,” she said. “My baby just died.”

The day care center, Crème de la Crème in Mason, is about a five minute drive from both P&G and the family’s home.

A spokesman for the company, Tony Riccardi, said in an email: “The Crème de la Crème community is devastated by the tragic news of Sophia’s death. We continue to send out our thoughts and prayers to her family as we grieve her loss.”

‘They’re wonderful people’

P&G is Warren County’s largest employer, and the Mason Business Center is home to the Cincinnati company’s line of personal care products, among other ventures. The complex spans more than 1.5 million square feet and sits on an elevated plug of land at 8700 Mason Montgomery Road.

A series of expansive parking lots boast freshly sealed blacktop pavement but little tree canopy to offer shade from the sun. Construction lining Mason Montgomery Road slows traffic around the facility, where more than 2,600 employees work.

Osorio-Martinez is a patent-holder with degrees from the University of Puerto Rico and Cornell University. She is a P&G senior scientist focusing on genetics, molecular and skin biology, according to her LinkedIn page.

Her husband, a P&G data scientist, also attended Cornell.

“They’re wonderful people,” the friend said, who asked the public to withhold judgment on Osorio-Martinez. “They were so thrilled to be a family.”

Sofia and her parents enjoyed spending time outside, though her mother was careful to keep out of the sun, the friend said. Last weekend the family sat on their front stoop “enjoying the day.”

“Sophia blew me a kiss,” the neighbor said. “She was adorable. She was a really good baby and very animated. She had a big round face, curly hair, big brown eyes.”

“She was so smart” she said. “Just a beautiful little girl.”

Neighbors and co-workers had wondered what happened Wednesday when Osorio-Martinez didn’t come to a planned dinner at Bravo.

“She wasn’t showing up,” said the neighbor. “We texted her and thought maybe something came up, but usually she answers.”

Staff Writer Kaitlin Schroeder contributed reporting.

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