A 3-year-old boy found dead in a day care transportation van Monday night had been in the vehicle all day, Orlando Police Chief John Mina said.
The boy, Myles K. Hill, would have turned 4 in two weeks. A day care worker picked him up from his grandmother’s home Monday morning, but did not notice that he was still in the van when she dropped other children off at the Little Miracles Academy on West Colonial Drive, then brought the van back to the day care center’s other location on Plymouth Avenue.
When Myles didn’t come home from day care, his grandmother called 911 to file a missing child report. She also called the day care, where a worker checked the van, found the boy, and called 911, Mina said.
“This is an absolute tragedy which could have been prevented,” Mina said Tuesday morning.
Criminal charges are pending against the driver, he said. She told officers that she did not do a head count when dropping the children off, Mina said. He did not release her name or say what charges she could face.
“The day care worker has been very cooperative and is obviously very distraught,” Misa said.
The Florida Department of Children and Families previously cited the day care for transportation issues when they last inspected it in July, records show.
The day care 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.
It was one of five violations during DCF inspections since 2015. Other violations included not having a caretakers in sight when the children were napping and not keeping attendance records during a fire drill, the records say.
According to the Florida Department of State, the day care is owned by Audrey and Bryant Thornton. Records show they filed to open the day care in 2009.
The second location — Little Miracles Academy II — is at 2514 W. Colonial Dr. Both locations were closed Tuesday morning.
Nearby residents poured onto the sidewalks Monday night to watch as about a dozen police cars surrounded the day care after the boy was found. Several mothers clutched the hands of their own children.
Word of a dead child reached nearby resident Laurie Allen, who said she felt compelled to show support for the family. She thought of her own 4-year-old grandson and said she was saddened and angry.
This is a developing story. Check back to OrlandoSentinel.com for more details.
Gal Tziperman Lotan contributed to this report.
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