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POSTED | 12:38 PM | 09-08-2017

Three-year-old boy found dead in a hot day care van

The heartbreak of losing her beloved 3-year-old great-nephew has left Barbara Livingston numb. And angry.

Myles Hill died after being left in a hot van at a day care for nearly 12 hours on Monday (August 7, 2017), when temperatures reached the low 90s with a heat index in the triple digits, The Orlando Sentinel reported.

“If you leave your child with someone, that person has the responsibility of taking care of them,” said Livingston, 71. “He had to lose his life because of someone’s neglect. It’s not right. It’s not right at all. If you have six kids get in the van, you make sure six kids get out of the van.”

Myles’ body was found about 8.30 p.m. on Monday after a day care worker for Little Miracles Academy left him in the back seat of a van after dropping kids off for the day about 9 a.m.

Police say charges are pending against the driver, who told police she did not do a head count when dropping off the children, Orlando Police Chief John Mina said.

“This is your worst nightmare come true,” Mina said on Tuesday.

Livingston said family members became concerned about 8 p.m. on Monday after Myles was not brought home at 6.30 p.m. The van was sometimes late, but never later than that. She said his grandmother, who has custody, kept calling the day care -- to no avail. She had spoken to the owners earlier that day, arranging to order a new school uniform for Myles, Livingston said.

The grandmother called police and went to the day care on Plymouth Avenue off Gore Street near Orange Blossom Trail, Livingston said.

“I was on the phone with her and she started to scream, ‘He’s in the van, dead!’” Livingston said.

The grandmother called 911, and police arrived to find Myles on the floor in the back seat of the van. Mina said a day care worker also called officers.

“This is an absolute tragedy which could have been prevented,” Mina said.

Mina said an autopsy would be performed, but it was likely that the boy died from heat-related causes. He would have turned 4 on Aug 22.

The day care owners, Audrey and Bryant Thornton, who also own a second day care on West Colonial Drive, could not be reached for comment. Both day cares are “closed until further notice,” said signs at both places.

Mina did not say on Tuesday if the owners would face any charges in Myles’ death.

“The day care worker has been very cooperative and is obviously very distraught,” Mina said.

But the Florida Department of Children and Families is “pursuing every legal option available to cease operations by tomorrow at both of these facilities,” even though their investigation isn’t complete, department secretary Mike Carroll said.

According to DCF records, Little Miracles Academy failed to comply with the “transportation rule” during a July 11 inspection. The facility’s log did not include elements such as arrival and departure times and destination locations, according to the report.

The problem was fixed right away, according to records.

 

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