Little Myles Hill should be celebrating his fourth birthday, not being buried in an Orlando cemetery. Funeral services are being held Saturday because the toddler was “forgotten” and left inside a van in the sweltering sun outside the Little Miracles Academy in Orlando, Florida, on August 7, 2017.
“My baby is three years old,” Myles’ heartbroken mom Chiel Banks said. “He’s going to be four on the 22nd of this month and he’s not going to have a birthday.”
The Orlando Police Department said in a statement that Myles was picked up from his home by daycare van driver Deborah St. Charles in the morning. St. Charles went on to pick up other kids, then unloaded them at the daycare center. No headcount was taken, and everyone went about their day while poor Myles was locked in the van for over 11 hours where he died of hyperthermia. According to authorities, the temperature inside was 144 degrees and it could have reached that temp within one hour.
Myles’ grandmother Brenda Watts, who is also his guardian, called the daycare at 8:06 PM that evening when the boy wasn’t dropped off by the daycare as expected. She was told on the phone that Myles was not at school that day. But she knew he was – she saw him leave in the van that morning.
About 20 minutes after Myles’ grandma called 911, a worker at the daycare phoned dispatchers to say she had found the boy.
“I need somebody right now,” the daycare worker says in the just-released recording. "I just got a phone call. The child is missing. We go look in the van. The child is in there and it looks like he’s dead."
“Does the child need medical attention?” the dispatcher asked.
“The child is dead,” the worker replied.
In the wake of Myles' death, the Florida Department of Children and Families fined and shut down two Little Miracles Academy locations, pending an investigation. St. Charles was arrested and charged with aggravated manslaughter of a child and is being held on a $30K bail. State records show she was not licensed to drive the daycare van.
Regardless of being licensed or not, where is the common sense? Seriously, what is going on in America that this keeps happening? Myles is the 32nd child to die in 2017, and the fifth in the state of Florida. How hard is it to remember that there is a living, breathing little person in the back seat?!
Look at this precious child... could you forget?
Guess it is pretty hard to remember, because now there are all kinds of reminders on the market. There’s one called Sense-A-Life, which is a device that alerts parents if they’ve left their children in the car, then there are also a few apps, including one from the popular GPS Waze, that alerts folks to remember to check the backseat before exiting their vehicle.
Wow. I mean, hey – if these things can help save lives, great. But how sad it is that we even need them. What is this world coming to?
What do you think of all this? Have you ever forgotten a child (or a pet) inside your car? How have things changed – or not – since you were a kid?