Police: BMW Door Locks Contributed To 14-Year-Old Girl's Death - KMPH FOX 26 | Central San Joaquin Valley News Source

Police: BMW Door Locks Contributed To 14-Year-Old Girl's Death

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MADERA, Calif. (KMPH) -

 Madera detectives say the heat, coupled with a malfunction of the car's locking system contributed to the death of a 14–year–old girl.

The death of Graciela Martinez happened Wednesday in the parking lot of Madera South High School.

Police say the 14–year–old was found dead inside her family's 328i BMW just after 3 in the afternoon.

Police say Graciela and her brother drove to school.

He went off to class, but she stayed inside the car because her class started an hour later.

At the end of school, her brother found her.

The second oldest of six children, is described by her sister, Patricia as a hard worker, who had big goals.

Patricia Martinez says, "She was a nice person she came from school and then go to work, and the after work she would help my mom around the house. She didn't have no problems in school or anything she had good grades."

In the corner of the Martinez family home sits a candle light memorial to the 14–year–old.

It has pictures of Graciela, one of her school outfits, and even a Burger King carton because she loved whoppers.

Patricia says, "She was a good sister, and that I loved her. I didn't even get to talk to her. She went in the car and she was dead already."

Now that detectives confirmed the heat and the car's locking system played a role in her death.

KMPH News Reporter Erik Rosales found several forums on the Internet from 300 series BMW owners describing a similar problem with the locking system.

One member wrote, "Today I went to lock, an suddenly it locked and now won't unlock. The key feels almost stripped (no resistance). I had to go through my trunk to open the door."

Garciela's father says he purchased the car about 6 months ago, from a private party.

He paid about $11,000.

He says nothing was mentioned about the locking system.

Police say the 14–year–old only weighed 80 pounds and could not break the window.

KMPH News Reporter Erik Rosales will stay on top of this story, check often for updates.

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