CRIME
08/28/2014 05:30 pm ET | Updated Sep 03, 2014

Maria Fernandes, Who Worked 4 Jobs, Dies While Napping In Car

A New Jersey woman who worked four jobs to make ends meet has died while napping in her car between shifts.

Maria Fernandes, 32, of Newark, died Monday from a mix of carbon monoxide and fumes from an overturned gas container that she kept in her 2001 Kia Sportage, the New York Daily News reports.

Investigators said Fernandes pulled into a lot off Route 1 and 9 in Elizabeth, New Jersey, for a nap early Monday morning.

She left the car running and, police said, the fumes from a spilled gas canister and the car's exhaust combined to kill her.

She was found dead around 3:51 p.m.

No foul play is suspected, according to Elizabeth Police Lt. Daniel Saulnier.

"This sounds like someone who tried desperately to work and make ends meet, and met with a tragic accident," Saulnier told NJ.com.

Fernandes, who was born in Portugal before emigrating to the U.S., was beloved by co-workers like Parth Patel, who worked with her at a Penn Station Dunkin' Donuts.

“She used to work like three shifts every day,” Patel told NJ.com. “Sometimes she wouldn’t sleep for five days.”

As hard as she worked, Fernandes had planned to take a break from all her jobs this Friday in order to celebrate Michael Jackson's birthday at a Central Park memorial.

Her co-workers said Fernandes idolized the late singer, and often belted out his songs and mimicked his dance moves while on the job.

They plan to hold a tribute to her, News12.com reports.

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