After the reckless actions of a careless daycare van driver in Orlando, a young child was found deceased.
Investigators say that 3-year-old Myles Hill was found dead inside if a transport van for Little Miracles Academy after being left inside the vehicle for an estimated 12 hours.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">This poor sweet little boy. Myles Hill would have turned 4 this month. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/wftv?src=hash">#wftv</a> <a href="https://t.co/J6ngLoG57o">pic.twitter.com/J6ngLoG57o</a></p>— Karla Ray (@KRayWFTV) <a href="https://twitter.com/KRayWFTV/status/894961085538816000">August 8, 2017</a></blockquote>
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The daycare worker responsible for the child seemingly forgot to count the children when exiting the vehicle and went about the day as if nothing had happened.
Twelve long hours passed with little Myles in low 90-degree weather with triple digit heat indexes before he was found.
71-year-old Barbara Livingston, Myles great aunt, is both distraught and furious at the neglect of her nephew at the hands of Little Miracles Academy and their disgusting staff who failed to protect her loving little angel.
“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.”
At around 8:30 PM on Monday night, daycare workers who were cleaning the vehicle came across the corpse of the dead child. The van dropped the children off at 9 AM that morning.
Orlando Police now say that charges are pending against the driver if the van, who told police she did not do a head count when dropping off the children that morning, Orlando Police Chief John Mina said.
“This is your worst nightmare come true,” Mina said Tuesday in a press conference describing the horrific tragedy.
Mrs . Livingston said that family members and herself became worried at about 8 PM Monday after Myles was not brought home at 6:30 PM, which is the typical time kids are dropped off at the facility.
The van was sometimes late, but never as late as it was Monday. His grandmother, who has custody of the boy, says she kept calling the daycare to no avail as they wouldn't answer the phone.
Ironically they had spoken to the owners of the facility earlier that day, arranging to order a new school uniform for Myles, Livingston said.
The aunt then called police after there was no answer in several attempts and the Grandmother went to the daycare on Plymouth Avenue off Gore Street near Orange Blossom Trail, Livingston said.
“I was on the phone with her (Myles Grandmother) and she started to scream, ‘He’s in the van, dead!’” Livingston said.
The grandmother called 911 immediately in shock, and police arrived to find Myles dead on the floor in the back seat of the van. Mina said a daycare worker also called officers to the scene.
“This is an absolute tragedy which could have been prevented,” Mina said.
Mina said that an autopsy would likely be performed, but it was clear that the boy died from heat-related causes due to the high temperatures on Monday. He would have turned 4 on August 22nd of this year.
The daycare owners, Audrey and Bryant Thornton, who also own a second daycare on West Colonial Drive, could not be reached for comment.
Hopefully, this article raises awareness about the failures of their business and training practices that resulted in the terrible tragedy of the death of a four-year-old boy.
If they're reading this article I hope they feel the rage and shame from the world who is absolutely disgusted and furious with not only their irresponsible practices but the lack of respect for the family and the deceased by refusing to comment.
Both daycares are “closed until further notice,” according to the signs at both places.
Livingston said, “He was a smart boy who liked to be with his family.”
“He often had a smile on his face, whether he was cuddling with his grandmother or showing his great aunt how to play a race car game on his tablet”, she said.
“He was always doing something,” she said. “He was a very happy little boy.”
Myles is the fifth child to die in a hot car in Florida and the 33rd nationwide this year alone according to https://NoHeatStroke.org which tracks these tragedies that have become all too familiar.
“Child-care facilities need to take every safety precaution,” said Amber Andreasen, Director and Volunteer Manager of nonprofit child-safety organization https://kidsandcars.org which tries to assist these facilities. “They need to double, triple and quadruple check that every child is out of the vehicle.”
Police Chief Mina did not say Tuesday if the owners of Little Miracles Academy 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 Family Services However 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 has previously failed to comply with the “transportation rule” during a July 11rh inspection. The facility’s log did not include elements such as arrival and departure times and destination locations, according to the report.
It was one of a whopping five violations during DCF inspections since early 2015. DCF says that the other violations included not having a caretaker in sight when the children were napping and not keeping attendance records during a fire drill, both disturbing neglectful actions.
Records also show that Thorntons filed in 2009 to open the business together, so after six years they still failed to meet the requirements to ensure the safety of children, and after nine years they now have a fatality of a child and the blood is directly on their hands.
Livingston said she thinks the owners also should face criminal charges. Most would agree, based upon their history of neglect and failure to protect children.
“I know it’s not going to bring him back, but someone has to be held accountable,” she said. “It’s just a must.”
The mood was full of mourning on Tuesday amongst the many people who live and work nearby. Several people delivered flowers, toys, and balloons to the daycare’s gate to honor, remember, and mourn little three-year-old Myles.
DCF officials said they are connecting families with children enrolled at Little Miracles Academy with other daycare options which are safer through the Early Learning Coalition.
Myles’ family members held a vigil Tuesday night at the childcare center where he was found.
No matter what happens next, nothing will bring this little angel back to the earth, and no true justice will ever be served to return his life to his loved ones. May God have mercy on those who are responsible because they deserve a painful suffering in this life for harming a child.