Day Care Shut Down Day After Toddler Dies In Hot Van

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Miami Police are still investigating the death of a 2-year-old, found unresponsive in a van in front of a daycare center.

(Source: The Miami Herald)

(Source: The Miami Herald)

A day after the tragedy, at the Vision for Life Academy along the 4100 block of NW 7th Avenue, a sign on the door says closed.

The toddler, Angel Gabriel Matute-Chavez, was left inside the company’s van for an unknown amount of time and found late Wednesday afternoon, police said. He was rushed to Ryder Trauma Center and pronounced dead on arrival.

Justin K. Beckham, the attorney for the day care owner, released a statement on the death, which read:

“Our client is completely devastated due to the tragic passing of a young child at Vision for Life.  She has dedicated the last 13 years of her life to the care of children, and she is in shock. We have reached out the City of Miami Police department in order to cooperate fully with their investigation.  She wishes to specifically express her deepest condolences to the child’s family.”

Parents, whose children attend the day care center, were aghast.

“These are my kids,” said one parent. “Even though they’re not mine, they’re my kids. And I won’t have no understanding because that’s neglect. I can’t see how a grown person can do that.”

Another parent has already withdrawn her children from the day care.

“How can you forget a whole child in the car,” she asked. “How do you forget a whole baby in the car? It’s like, these are the children you go to pick up. So how can you just not remember who you brought? I don’t understand.”

It was a difficult scene to work for the first responders who tried to save the 2-year-old’s life.

“We’re still human,” said Miami Fire Rescue Capt. Ignatius Carrol. “We still have a lot of people here who are parents, as well, so seeing something like this is very heart wrenching to us.”

The Florida Department of Children and Families issued a statement, saying the day care has been shut down amid their investigation.

“DCF has opened a child death investigation and will assist law enforcement in any way needed. The child had no previous interaction with the child welfare system,” said a released statement. “Vision for Life Academy child care center is no longer operational. The center had no major, class one child care violations. The center was not authorized to transport children. DCF child care licensing staff will continue to closely monitor the center.”

So far, police have interviewed several employees about what happened. No one has yet been taken into custody.

More from Gary Nelson

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