A three-year-old Florida boy has died after being left for more than 11 hours in a nursery vehicle on a hot summer’s day.
Myles Hill, who attended Little Miracles Academy in Orlando, was discovered inside the van on Monday night.
He had been picked up that morning along with other children by a member of staff and was supposed to have been dropped off at one of the Academy’s two centres in the area.
The nursery worker returned to the other centre and did not realise the toddler was still in the vehicle, police said.
“We believe Myles was in the hot van all day long, since 9am,” said Orlando Police Chief John Mina on Tuesday.
Myles was eventually found at 8.30pm after his grandmother called police and the Academy demanding to know where the youngster was because he had not been dropped off at her home.
Temperatures in Orlando reached 34C (93F) on Monday, according to the National Weather Service.
The staff member could face criminal charges if a post-mortem reveals he died from being left inside the hot vehicle.
Mike Carroll, secretary of the Florida Department of Children and Families, said it was investigating the death.
Agency records show that during an inspection last month the Academy was found to have failed to have kept a log of pick-up and drop-off times, as well as details of where youngsters were being transported to.
Both centres have reportedly been closed for the time being.
Myles’ heartbroken great aunt told the Orlando Sentinel: “If you leave your child with someone, that person has the responsibility of taking care of them.
“If you have six kids get in the van, you make sure six kids get out of the van.”
She said she was on the phone to Myles’ grandmother when she found out what had happened to him: “She started to scream, ‘he’s in the van, dead!'”
Myles, who was due to turn four later this month, is the fifth child to die in a hot vehicle in Florida and the 33rd in the United States this year, according to the website NoHeatStroke.org.