The grieving and enraged family of toddler Myles Hill, who died in the back of a hot day care center van, wants to know why the child suffered, abandoned and alone.
“I just want justice for my baby,” said mother Chiel Banks, as mourners gathered outside the Little Miracles Academy, where Hill’s body was found Monday night on the floor of a transport vehicle.
Florida authorities say the 3-year-old had been left in the sweltering van for up to 11 hours in temperatures surpassing 90 degrees with 100 percent humidity.
Nobody else should have to go through what I’m going through,” Banks said. “My baby is 3 years old. He’s 3. He’s going to be 4 on the 22nd of this month, and he’s not even going to have a birthday.”
Along with tears, there were angry shouts at the Tuesday vigil.
"That’s our question: Why?” one family member yelled. “What happened?”
The baby’s aunt, Stacy Irvin, told reporters at the scene: “Of course we’re mad. We’re upset because, you know, everyone is like, ‘We forgot about him. Head count.’ OK, you forgot about [the] head count. What about child restraint?”
Orlando Police Chief John Mina has said Myles was left in the van after the driver failed to perform a head count. The day care employee will face criminal charges, he said, after an autopsy is concluded.
The worker, he said, is distraught.
The boy’s grandmother called 911 Monday evening when Myles was not dropped off at home, Mina said. The day care facility picked up the child in the morning and usually returned him about 6 p.m., police said.
She also contacted the center and an employee was sent outside to check the van. Myles’ body was found near the back seat, Mina said.
At about 9 a.m. Monday, the driver had picked up Myles and other kids at the center and drove them to another Little Miracles location. She returned to the first location, not realizing Myles was still on board, police said.
“The driver admitted to not doing a head count,” Mina said.
The facility had been cited last month for failing to maintain a log of van pickups, drop-offs and times for both.