Daycare employees only realized the infant was missing after the little girl's mom called to make pick up arrangements.

By Robyn Merrett
Updated: May 23, 2019

A 4-month-old baby has tragically died after being left in her Florida daycare’s van for five hours.

On Wednesday, Jacksonville Police received a call about an unresponsive infant at Ewing’s Love & Hope Preschool and Academy, Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said in a statement on Facebook.

When emergency responders arrived on the scene, they found the small child strapped in her car seat still inside the van. She was promptly rushed to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead, according to Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

The little girl was picked up earlier that day from her brought to the academy, which has an infant daycare program, in a van driven by co-owner of the facility Darryl Ewing, police said.

Ewing, 56, arrived at Love and Hope at around 8:25 a.m. and the children were “offloaded and taken into the center.”

However, the 4-month-old baby girl was left inside.

“The suspect parked the van in front of the daycare and left the vehicle unattended with the victim still strapped in her car seat in the third row of the van,” police said in the statement.

Daycare employees had not realized the child was still in the van until her mother called to make pick up arrangements at around 1:03 p.m, according to police.

Soon after the call, the employees discovered the infant had not been checked in.

That’s when they went outside to search the van.

“Daycare employees went to the van and discovered the victim still strapped in her child seat unresponsive and called emergency services.”

Following a preliminary investigation, Ewing was arrested.

“Further investigative efforts revealed the suspect was responsible for maintaining a separate driver’s log documenting all children that are placed onto the van,” Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office stated.

“This log is separate from the parental log signed by parents. Detectives viewed the driver’s log, which showed the suspect had logged in two of the victim’s siblings but not the victim.”

Other daycare employees told police it is Ewing’s responsibility to make sure all children are offloaded from the vehicle before entering the center.

“It was determined, the suspect’s actions (and lack thereof) failed to provide the victim with the necessary supervision and provide services to protect the victim’s physical health, all which was essential to the victim’s well-being and contributed to the death of the victim,” police allege.

The baby is believed to have suffered a “heat-related injury,” as the temperature in Jacksonville reached 92 degrees on Wednesday, Jacksonville Sheriff’s Assistant Chief Brian Kee said at a news conference, ABC News reported.

Police said Ewing was “booked into jail for child neglect,” while they continue to investigate.

The child’s name has not yet been revealed.

If you suspect child abuse, call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to www.childhelp.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.

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