Daycare Death Probed

Tuesday, September 13, 2011 - 9:17am

Police say toddler was left in daycare van for several hours.

A 13-month old boy was found dead in a school van outside of a daycare in Dorchester, Massachusetts Monday.

“I can confirm that there’s a 13-month-old baby that has passed away. It would appear that the baby was left in the school bus. We don’t know exactly how long, but a significant amount of time today,” said Commissioner Ed Davis of the Boston Police Department.

Tuesday morning there were indications the boy may have been in the van for up to six hours before he was found.

A woman, who said she was an aunt or a godmother of the boy, was overcome with grief on Monday after hearing the news of the child.

“A young lady was over there passing out and I didn’t know what was wrong with her and that’s when she started telling me that it was her nephew on the bus that died,” said Ebony Smith.

Investigators said the van was operated as a separate business by the daycare operator’s husband.

The child inside was supposed to be dropped off at a different daycare.

Police said the driver was beside the van when they arrived.

He collapsed and was taken to the hospital.

One woman said she used to work at the daycare center, and that it was a good one.

“She’s very caring and always search the vehicle any time they bring the kids,” said Santa Martinis.

The parents of 13 children picked up their children on Monday.

Police said the daycare was only licensed to handle ten.

City inspectors said the building was still listed as a three-family home and lacked fire extinguishers, carbon dioxide detectors and proper exits.

Inspectors boarded up and shut down the daycare on Monday night.

The center will remain closed until at least Thursday morning when Boston Inspectional Services will hold a hearing.

The identity of the driver and any possible charges have not yet been released.

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