HOMESTEAD (CBS4) -The driver of the van connected to the Homestead daycare center where a 1 year old boy died admitted to police that he found the child dead, sources told CBS4.
The driver of the van reportedly told police that he normally checks the van every day to make sure all of the children are out of it, but on Tuesday he might have missed the boy, CBS4′s Jim DeFede said.
When they heard that, family members said they still don’t know what to believe.
“That baby was left on that van,” said the baby’s great-aunt, Penny Mims. “Vans can get very hot very quickly and if he came back and the child was passed out or whatever, he should’ve called 911 immediately.”
Some family members were angry because they think the child was in the daycare earlier Tuesday.
“The uncle of that baby saw that baby that morning eating cereal in the cafeteria,” said the child’s great-grandmother, Christine Prescott. “So we know that the baby was in that daycare he was not in that van.”
Miami-Dade police have not confirmed with CBS4 that the child died in the van. Homicide investigators are looking into the death of the child, who relatives have identified as Dominicue Andrews.
The boy was found shortly after 3:30 p.m. Tuesday by paramedics responding to a call of a child in distress at the Jomiba Learning Center, 1005 N. Krome Ave., according to Miami-Dade police. His body was found outside the center’s building near a van.
CBS4’s Peter D’ Oench said a police source at the scene told him that the toddler was originally left in the van by mistake, died in the van and then removed from the van before police reported to the scene.
Images from Chopper 4 show a daycare van wrapped in yellow crime scene tape, though it is not confirmed at this point where or how the death occurred.
“There are questions about a van parked behind the facility that may be involved in this case and certainly that van is a component of this crime scene,” said Miami-Dade Police Detective Roy Rutland. “So we will be looking at that van along with this entire property and everyone who was here at the time.
But a witness, Eli Lobo, said he saw the boy tucked away in a corner of the daycare center near the van by a cinder block. Lobo said he came to the location where the boy was discovered after he heard a worker near the transportation van screaming.
“I took a quick look at him and I had to look away,” Lobo said.
Traci Morman, cousin of the toddler’s 16-year-old mother, said the daycare called the boy’s mother and originally told her they couldn’t find her son.
“She thought her child was missing and I rushed her over here to find out what was wrong with her child and then we find out he’s dead,” said Morman.
The boy’s grandmother, grandmother Atila Bryant, was overcome with grief.
“He was a good baby,” Bryant said. “He was gorgeous. He was so good. He loved women.”