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NJ Girl Dies at Sleepover with Soccer Teammates

Sunday September 6, 2015    9:19 PM
A teenage girl attending a sleepover with her soccer teammates was found dead Saturday morning at a southern New Jersey home, authorities said.

Fourteen-year-old Kara Lemanowicz, of Voorheesl, apparently died in her sleep, authorities said. She and her teammates had spent the night outside in a tent, and the teen was unresponsive when her friends tried to wake her.

Emergency crews responded to the Barnsboro Road home in Sewell around 9 a.m. Saturday, and the girl was pronounced dead there a short time later.

It's not yet known what caused the girl's death, but authorities said the death is not considered suspicious and no drug or alcohol use is suspected. Authorities believe a medical condition may have caused the death, but didn't elaborate.

Kara was a freshman at Eastern Regional High School in Voorhees Township and was a member of the school's girls soccer team.

It's one of those things you don't expect," McGroarty said. "It's not supposed to work that way."

She did have asthma, McGroarty said, but otherwise she was perfectly healthy. He said he was not aware of any other medical conditions she may have had.

He noted that the schools are rigorous and perform routine physicals to make sure players are healthy.

"It is probably some kind of condition that she had, that no one was aware of," he said.

The ones especially close to Lemanowicz were crushed by the news, McGroarty said.

"She was light-hearted, friendly and always laughing. She always had a grin and smile, always caring about people ... she was fun to be around and she's been like that ever since she was a little kid," McGroarty said.

McGroarty said the vigil is so the team can "get together, hug and share their thoughts and remember her as she was."

Authorities do not suspect any foul play or drugs were involved in her death.

The Gloucester County medical examiner is expected to conduct an autopsy Sunday morning.