The wife of a Miami police officer died after becoming trapped in the back seat of her husband's police-issued SUV. Clara Paulino was apparently looking for something in the back seat of the Ford Explorer, parked at her Miami Shores home, on Friday afternoon when she became trapped inside, reports the Miami Herald. The back seat was caged with locking doors that could only be opened from the outside, WTVJ reports. Paulino was trapped for around four hours, unable to reach the horn, as temperatures reached into the 90s, per the Herald. "Clearly, she was panicked and trying to get out," a law enforcement source tells the outlet, noting 56-year-old Paulino's fingerprints were all over the SUV's interior.
Aristides Paulino, 58, a 25-year veteran of the department, had returned home Friday morning after covering the midnight shift and then went to sleep, perhaps leaving his SUV unlocked, per the Herald. His wife is believed to have entered the vehicle sometime around 1pm. Her husband and one of their sons found her body around 5:30pm. One son, reached by the Herald on Monday, said the family was not ready to speak about the incident. "We haven’t even buried her yet and it’s a lot of pain," he said. The Miami-Dade County medical examiner's office has yet to give a cause or manner of death. The source tells the Herald that Paulino may have had health issues that contributed to her death. (Read more Miami stories.)