N.J. teen found dead at sleepover identified by soccer coach – NJ.com

MANTUA TWP. — Kara Lemanowicz, 14, was supposed to start her first day of high school this Tuesday when she was discovered dead over the weekend at a sleepover with teammates from her soccer team.

Jamie McGroarty, the head soccer coach at Eastern Regional High School in Voorhees, had coached Kara since she was a little kid. He was shocked when he heard she had died.

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

Lemanowicz was with her teammates at a house on Barnsboro Road in Mantua Township Friday night when the following morning she was discovered unconscious. Her death, officials said, was possibly due to a medical condition.

According to the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office, Lemanowicz “appears to have passed while sleeping.”


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Lemanowicz 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.

McGroarty and members of the soccer team were getting ready Saturday evening to attend an 8 p.m. candlelight vigil at Giangiulio Turf Field in Voorhees to remember Lemanowicz.

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.

Spencer Kent may be reached at skent@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @SpencerMKent. Find the South Jersey Times on Facebook.

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