Day care van driver arrested for leaving child in auto for hours

Deborah St. Charles

A Florida daycare driver is now facing charges in connection with the death of a 3-year-old boy who investigators say was left in a van for almost 12 hours.

Myles was one of several children St. Charles picked up and brought to Little Miracles Academy II, according to a police report. A day-care worker checked the van and police received a call from the center about the unresponsive child in the vehicle.

Temperatures inside the van were as high as 144 degrees at 3 p.m., investigators said. The driver admitted to "not doing a head count". Police found Myles' body in the van 30 minutes later. "I did what I could do to provide for them and teach them every day", said Thornton.

Secretary Steve Carroll said at a news conference that the department issued an Emergency Suspension Order to the Orlando facility's owner, Audrey Thornton.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Myles' family pay for funeral expenses.

Myles was found by another day care employee in the van outside Little Miracles Academy at 8:28 p.m., after the boy's great grandmother called the day care to report that he hadn't been dropped off at home. The "unbearable environment" caused Myles' death, according to the medical examiner, who determined his cause of death was hyperthermia. Also, the affidavit says, she did not make the required visual sweep of the vehicle to ensure that no child was left inside, nor did she get a signature of a second child auto facility staff member verifying that the driver's log shows that each child has left the vehicle. Police say St. Charles assumed all the children in the van had walked inside the facility, but did not do a headcount, according to the report.

Myles was marked "present" by staff at Little Miracle Academy II, which is a violation of DCF attendance record keeping, the report said.

The family of the toddler who died said she doesn't deserve to leave. "Just imagine a 3-year-old child in a van, windows up, no water, nothing".

After the death of Myles Hill, many WESH 2 News viewers reached out on social media to ask how often the Florida Department of Children and Families actually "revokes" day care center licenses.

But parents arrived to drop off their kids on Tuesday and said they had not been told of the tragedy. In 2015, the facility failed to include mandatory reporting forms in its personnel files.

Relatives tell local news outlets that Myles Hill would have turned 4 on August 22.

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