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Day care driver involved in toddler’s hot car death arrested, charged

Published: Thursday, August 10, 2017 @ 6:04 PM
By: Cuthbert Langley, WFTV.com

The Florida day care worker accused of leaving a 3-year-old boy in a hot van for nearly 12 hours has been arrested.

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Suspect Deborah St. Charles, 51, is facing aggravated manslaughter charges, Orlando police said.

St. Charles was a child care personnel/school readiness employee at Little Miracles Academy in Orlando, officials with the state Department of Children and Families said. but she was not an “approved” driver.

The boy, identified as Myles Hill, was found dead Monday evening inside a van at the center. Hill died from hyperthermia due to environmental exposure, authorities said, and the manner of death was listed as an accident.

Police said the boy was picked up Monday morning at one of the academy’s locations.

When the van arrived at a second facility around 9 a.m., St. Charles failed to do a headcount, police said.

>> Related: Heartbroken loved ones mourn death of toddler in hot van at day care Orlando day care center 

Investigators said the boy's guardian eventually realized the child was not at home and first called the day care around 8 Monday night, and then called 911. Police found Myles' body in the van 30 minutes later.

Temperatures inside the van were as high as 144 degrees at 3 p.m., investigators said.

Day care owner Audrey Thornton told reporters during a press conference on Wednesday that she was sorry and that the boy's death was a mistake.

"I'm so sorry. I took care of my kids. I did what I could do to provide for them and teach them every day," said Thornton.

>>Related: Watch: day care owner apologizes for boy’s death

Authorities have closed down two Little Miracles Academy locations.

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