Fairfax County prosecutors yesterday charged a 24-year-old Hyattsville woman with involuntary manslaughter in the death of a 3-year-old girl. The child died Aug. 4 of heatstroke after being left alone inside a closed automobile.
Assistant Fairax prosecutor Tom Gallahue said that an attorney for Kathy Elizabeth Daniel, who was caring for the child when she died, has agreed that the woman will surrender to authorities today or Thursday.
Daniel's attorney, Donald M. White of Ashland, declined yesterday to comment on the charge, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.
An autopsy performed on the body of Katrina Patrice Harrigan showed that the child died of heatstroke induced by temperatures inside Daniel's unshaded car which police say probably climbed to more than 130 degrees.
Daniel, who shared an apartment with the child, her 20-year-old mother, and an aunt, told police she had left the child alone for only 15 minutes while she went inside the office of a Falls Church food service company where she had been employed.
Falls Church police say they believe the child had been left alone in the car for nearly two hours. They theoriz e that Daniel a saleswoman, may have intended to return to the car and begin her rounds, but may have lost track of time because she was fired when she entered her office.
The child's mother, Annette Harrington, and her aunt, 24-year-old Brenda Harringan, said last week that they believe the child was asleep when Daniel entered the office. Daniel reportedly told police that Katrina had asked to stay in the car but relatives said that the child preferred accompanying them on errands rather than waiting alone in a car.