The 2-year-old Florida boy who died inside a daycare center's sweltering van last week was left alone after the driver reportedly failed to follow protocol and switched off a safety alarm.
Noah Sneed was found dead in the parking lot of Ceressa’s Day Care & Preschool in Oakland Park on July 29 after being left inside the vehicle for more than five hours as temperatures soared to around 93 degrees, the Miami Herald reported.
The newspaper, citing investigative documents from Broward County’s Child Care Licensing and Enforcement section, added the van’s driver shut off its safety alarm – which is supposed to sound off if passengers are left inside – before letting children out of the vehicle that day.
“They need to pay for what was done,” Teresa Brown, the child’s great-aunt, told the Miami Herald. “They need to pay for this negligence.”
The Broward County report also says there was no attendance taken the day when the children arrived at the facility and that Noah wasn’t found in a car seat, as required by law, according to the Miami Herald.
The daycare center has since been hit with a series of violations and its owner has surrendered the center's license to officials. The Broward Sheriff’s Office is investigating the death as manslaughter. No charges have been filed yet.
Chanese Sneed, Noah’s mother, told the Herald she strapped her son into a child car seat when he was picked up by the daycare center’s van around 9 a.m. on July 29.
But Noah never made it to the facility. He was found dead by a staff member at 3 p.m., reports said.
The Broward County report, according to the Miami Herald, says the driver told an investigator she “walked around the outside of the vehicle to the back where she turned off the child safety alarm” after arriving at the daycare center.
“The driver then walked to the passenger side of the vehicle and allowed the children to exit the vehicle,” the report is quoted as saying. “The driver did not follow the correct procedures for operating the alarm on the vehicle as it states that the driver or a staff member must physically inspect each seat before turning off the alarm.”
Numerous officials at the school would not respond to the Miami Herald’s requests for comment.
Chanese Sneed, however, is still searching for answers.
“Imagine waiting for your baby to come home,” she told the Miami Herald. “And then he never comes home.”