Family shattered after tragic death of girl left in hot car
A YOUNG girl remembered as a cheeky "chatterbox" has died in Morwell after being found left alone in the family car on a 42C day.
Emily Lever would have been celebrating her fourth birthday tomorrow but instead her devastated family are planning her funeral.
"Emily was cheeky but adorable," paternal grandmother Karen Spark told the Herald Sun.
"She had so much life in her. She was a chatterbox.
"She was a loving, sweet, happy girl.
"It doesn't feel real."
Emergency services tried to revive Emily after pulling her unresponsive body from the vehicle on Friday evening.
But she died at the scene and Victoria Police has launched an investigation.
Her heartbroken relatives are struggling to come to terms with the loss of their "angel" and are searching for answers.
Grandfather Leslie Spark described her as a "beautiful little girl" who would be sorely missed.
"It is a tragic accident," he said. "The worst is to come."
Little Emily's body must undergo an autopsy before it can be released to her family.
Mrs Spark said Emily was a "girly girl" who loved playing hairdresser.
"She loved Nan's nails," she said.
"I got them done on Friday and I thought 'I've got to go and show Emily'.
"She loved my rings; I made my mind to leave them to her when the time came.
"I don't know what we are going to do on Wednesday on her birthday."
The pair were also due to babysit their three grandchildren this weekend.
Emily leaves behind older sister Alice, 5, and younger sister Jaina, 18 months.
Last month, Melbourne mum Kaija Millar, 32, was charged after allegedly leaving her 14-month-old son, Easton, in a hot parked car outside the Brook Hotel in Point Cook.
A hospital spokeswoman said last night she was unable to comment on the boy's status due to a request for privacy from the family.
The circumstances around why Emily was in the car remain a mystery.
Emily's mum, Monica Lever, and the girl's father, Shaun Lever, had recently separated.
Shaun's mother said her son was "broken" about the loss of his beloved daughter, who was declared dead about 8.30pm.
"Shaun didn't find out until 11 o'clock that night," Mrs Spark said.
"He was an amazing father. He had an amazing relationship with his girls. He shared his time equally with the three girls."
A friend of Mrs Lever said the mum of three had been through "hell and back" in recent times.
"She adores her little kids and is hypervigilant," the friend said.
"She is determined to make sure her kids have a better life than she did."
Neighbours said Mrs Lever and her three girls were a "beautiful" family.
"They are decent people," the neighbour said.
"She was a curious kid."
Detectives said the investigation was continuing and no charges had been laid.
Anyone with any information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential crime report at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au