A Florida day care van driver is facing charges in the death of a 3-year-old boy who was left in a sweltering hot van for 11 hours before being discovered.
According to the Washington Post, Deborah Denise St. Charles was arrested on charges of aggravated manslaughter in the death of little Myles Hill, who was left in an “unbearable environment,” trapped in the van throughout the day. Investigators say that temperatures inside the van could have reached up to 144 degrees.
St. Charles, 51, admitted to police that she failed to do a head count before leaving the vehicle Monday. Authorities said that she was “extremely distraught” over what happened to the little boy.
Orlando, Fla., Police Chief John Mina called the incident “an absolute tragedy which could have been prevented.”
On Friday, St. Charles’ bail was set at $30,000 and a judge ruled that she could not work for a child care center or have unsupervised contact with children, the report notes.
Myles was found after his grandmother called Little Miracles Academy and asked about his whereabouts when he hadn’t been dropped home. A day care worker checked the van and police received a call from the center about the unresponsive child in the vehicle.
“I was on the phone with her and she started to scream, ‘He’s in the van, dead!’” Barbara Livingston, Myles’ aunt, told the Orlando Sentinel of the grandmother’s reaction.
“If you leave your child with someone, that person has the responsibility of taking care of them,” she added. “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.”
St. Charles told investigators that she collected Myles from his apartment early Monday morning and put him on a rear bench on the driver’s side of the van, an arrest-warrant affidavit notes.
Sources: Breanna Edwards (The Root)