A Florida day care worker has been charged in the death of a 3-year-old who died after he was allegedly left in a hot van for nearly 12 hours, according to police.
Little Miracles Academy employee Deborah Denise St. Charles, 51, was arrested Thursday and charged with aggravated manslaughter of a child by culpable negligence for the death of Myles Hill, the Orlando Police Department said.
Myles was found unresponsive Monday night inside the vehicle in the parking lot of the Little Miracles Academy in Orlando, police said. The high temperature that day was 93 degrees, according to an arrest affidavit.
On Monday night, 911 dispatchers received a call referencing a deceased child who was found in the back of a 2000 blue Honda Odyssey, according to the affidavit. Myles was pronounced dead nine minutes later, the affidavit states.
About three hours later, St. Charles provided a sworn statement to Orlando Det. Shane Overfield, telling him that she had picked Myles up from her home at 7:42 a.m. that day, according to the affidavit.
During the pickup, Myles’ grandmother, Brenda Watts, provided St. Charles with the payment for Myles’ childcare and placed him in the back of the van on the driver’s side, the affidavit states. Two other children were sitting on the bench seat with Myles, St. Charles told police.
St. Charles then picked up one more child and drove to the Little Miracles Academy’s location on West Colonial Drive, according to the affidavit. Once there, St. Charles then exited the van, walked around and opened the van’s rear hatch to remove cleaning supplies she was instructed to deliver, she told police.
St. Charles then handed several of the cleaning supplies to some of the children in the van but could not recall to whom, the affidavit states. She then closed the rear hatch of the van and walked into the day care, “assuming all of the children had already entered the business, but [she] admitted to failing to perform a head count to be sure,” according to the affidavit.
After turning over the payment for Myles’ childcare, St. Charles then left that location and drove to another Little Miracles Academy located on Plymouth Avenue, she told police, according to the affidavit. As she arrived, she received a phone call, and she exited and locked the van “without inspecting the interior,” the affidavit states. She then walked into the day care and into her classroom until she left for the day at about 6 p.m.