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Infant dies; family was living in Maryland motel parking lot

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GAITHERSBURG, Md. (AP) — The death of a 4-month-old girl was under investigation Monday after police said she was not breathing when authorities found her in a motel parking lot where she was living in a van with her family.

Police and medics called to a Motel 6 on Sunday morning found her unresponsive, Montgomery County police said in a statement. The infant, identified as Brooklyn Ruth Irby, was taken to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Detectives have labeled Brooklyn's cause of death undetermined until the medical examiner's office releases its findings.

Grandfather Michael Dionne tells WJLA-TV his family recently hit hard times and they were living in a van parked in the motel's lot. His daughter's applications for housing had been turned down twice, he said.

"It's a crime that they deny her housing."

County health and human services officials said in a statement that confidentiality laws prohibit them from releasing information about those they serve. The county has three family shelters that serve nearly 300 households annually and in crisis situations families may be placed short term in motels, the statement said.

Dionne said he will remember Brooklyn's laugh.

"She always tried to talk and tried to grab your hand," he said. "I never saw her cry. She was that good a baby."

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