By Kimberly Davis

LINDENWOLD, N.J. (CBS) — A 22-month-old girl was found dead after being left in a hot minivan at the PATCO station in Lindenwold, officials say. A family friend told Eyewitness News she suffocated in the hot car.

The family was visibly shaken by the tragic news and to see their vehicle in the center of a crime scene. Eyewitness News spoke with them briefly as they rushed away from the scene.

“I’m sure it was an accident but nonetheless, how do you leave a kid in a car?” asked Juan Cave, who was picking up his wife from the station.

That’s the same question the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office is now asking after the 2-year-old was found dead in a minivan left at the Lindenwold parking lot.

The family was not interested in speaking with Eyewitness News but a family friend tells us the little girl suffocated in the minivan.

According to police, the girl was spotted in the van by a passerby around 2:30 p.m. Friday. The family came back to the car just before 5:30 p.m.

Those who were at the PATCO Lindenwold station were taken aback when they learned what happened.

“My car is blocked off because of the investigation. I can’t really move my car so I have to wait for a while,” said PATCO rider Ashley Iwu.

Iwu was one of many riders who had to wait until the yellow tape was taken down to get to their car.

“I can barely be out here for too long. I can only imagine having no air,” she said of the heat.

Investigators are working to determine how the tragedy happened.

“I couldn’t even imagine losing my kids, let alone leaving them in the car, period,” Cave said.

The girl’s official cause of death has not been released.

Kimberly Davis