ORLANDO, Fla. — A 3-year-old boy died after a day care worker allegedly forgot to take him out of a van that was parked in front of the child care facility, according to the Orlando Police Department.
Myles Hill was found dead Monday evening after nearly 12 hours trapped inside the van as temperatures reached the 90s, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
“This is an absolute tragedy that could have been prevented,” Orlando chief of police John Mina said Tuesday morning.
Myles would have turned 4 years old on Aug. 22.
The driver, who hasn’t been publicly identified, might face charges after telling investigators she didn’t perform a head count while dropping off the children around 9 a.m., police said.
The unidentified woman is cooperating with authorities and is “obviously extremely distraught,” Mina said.
Myles was found around 8:30 p.m. after his grandmother called police when he failed to come home from Little Miracles Academy.
“I was on the phone with her and she started to scream, ‘He’s in the van, dead,'” Myles’ great aunt Barbara Livingston told the paper.
If an autopsy confirms Myles’ death was heat-related, he would be the 32nd child to die in a hot car in 2017, according to No Heat Stroke, a website that has tracked such deaths since 1998.
Four other children have died in hot cars in Florida in 2017, according to the site.
On Tuesday, Mina asked “every single parent, caregiver, baby sitter, brother (or) sister to please be sure that we are checking our vehicles for our kids. It just takes a minute and I know that we’re all distracted with cellphones, and there’s so many more distractions these days than there’s ever been, but you’ve got to do something.
“If you’ve got to put your cellphone back there, put your shoe back there, put your wallet, put your purse … so that tragedies like this can be avoided.”