Published: Sat, May 25, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Deputies: Infant found dead in van outside Jacksonville daycare

Deputies: Infant found dead in van outside Jacksonville daycare

For nearly five hours, the infant girl remained strapped in her vehicle seat, forgotten in a daycare centre van that was parked in the sun on a 32-degree day.

"Interviews of other daycare center employees indicated it is the van driver's responsibility to check and make sure children are offloaded from the van at the daycare center", it added.

According to U.S. authorities, the 4-month-old was picked up from her home on Wednesday morning (Thursday NZ time) along with other children headed to the Ewing's Love and Hope Preschool and Academy in Jacksonville, Florida.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office was dispatched to the daycare at 1.08pm after the baby's mother discovered her body in the van, the employee explained to First Coast News. When the van arrived at the center about 8:25 a.m., all children were offloaded except for the baby girl, according to police.

Officers said a day care worker made the harrowing discovery at around 1 p.m. when the child's mother called to make after-school arrangements. No other employees were on the van. The girl was transported to the Wolfsons hospital but she was pronounced dead at 2.53pm. Investigators said they didn't know why or how the child was left in the vehicle. The log from Wednesday morning revealed that two of the infant's siblings were accounted for, but not the infant.

Sheriff's officials said Ewing refused to talk with detectives.

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Officials said the daycare's license would be immediately suspended.

"Tragically, today a family has just been notified of the gut-wrenching loss of their precious baby girl", said Division of Children and Families Secretary Chad Poppell. Therefore, transportation standards were not being monitored'. "DCF immediately opened a joint child death and child care licensing investigation in coordination with law enforcement". While those charges involved her own teenage children - police said they were beaten with an extension cord - she was arrested at the day care center in December 2017.

However, the 4-month-old baby girl was left inside.

About 14 children were under the center's care, and no others were injured, police told the station.

The homicide unit is investigating and said they will coordinate with the State Attorney's Office to determine the appropriate charges.

The investigation into the death continues.

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