JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — An infant has died after being left in a hot van for about five hours outside a Florida daycare.
The 5-month-old girl was discovered Wednesday afternoon outside a Jacksonville daycare facility, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.
Investigators said the girl's mother called the daycare to check on her, and an employee said she didn't know the child was there. The mother then rushed over and found the girl in the van. Officials said the child had been in the hot vehicle for hours.
Rescue workers responded and took the girl to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
Deputies later arrested 56-year-old Darryl Ewig, who is a co-owner of the daycare center.
A preliminary investigation revealed Ewig drove the van to pick up the victim, along with other children, from their homes Wednesday morning and transported them to the daycare.
The sheriff's office said no other employees were inside the van with Ewig during the transit to the center. When the van arrived at the daycare at about 8:25 a.m., all of the children, except for the 5-month-old victim, were offloaded and taken inside.
Ewig then parked the van in front of the daycare and left the vehicle unattended with the infant still strapped in her car seat in the third row of the van, according to the sheriff's office.
The investigation also revealed the suspect was responsible for maintaining a separate driver’s log documenting all children that are placed onto the van.
"Detectives viewed the driver’s log, which showed the suspect had logged in two of the victim’s siblings but not the victim," the sheriff's office said in a statement.
Other daycare center employees told authorities it is the driver's responsibility to check and make sure the children are offloaded from the van at the daycare 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 of which was essential to the victim’s well-being and contributed to the death of the victim," the sheriff's office said.
Ewig was charged with child neglect and booked into the Duval County Jail. The sheriff's office said he refused to talk with detectives.