by: Amanda Warford Updated:JACKSONVILLE, Fla. —
The local mother of a 3-year-old boy is furious.
She tells Action News her son was abandoned this week inside a van that takes children to and from the “All About God’s Children” Daycare on the Northside.
According to a heavily redacted police report, it happened Tuesday evening. That mother called police panicked that her son "had not been dropped off from daycare" and had been missing for nearly four hours.
That mother told police she was working and unable to access her phone when the caretaker called to say the boy was never dropped off at home.
It wasn't until 8 p.m. when that mother learned that her other three children had been out searching for the toddler with no results.
Police say the mother was visibly shaking, crying and panicked; she said "she just wanted to find her 'baby.'"
As officers searched the area, another call came into police, this time from neighbors of the van's driver who said they found the boy "inside the van crying and pressing his hands up against the window."
The driver, they said, wasn't home. Neighbors told police they instructed the 3-year-old to unlock the van door. After being checked, the boy was determined to be OK.
Action News Jax went to that day care for answers Wednesday. Police said the owner of the day care and the suspect were crying and pacing Tuesday.
But on Wednesday, the woman who said she was in charge declined to answer any of our questions and promptly asked our crew to leave.
Many of the details of the report have been redacted. Police say that’s because the incident is still under investigation. At this point, they do not suspect foul play, but we did confirm two teams from the Florida Department of Children and Families are now investigating.
We’re told the allegations of what happened are considered some of their most serious violations.
According to DCF, day cares that provide transportation are required by law to keep a log of children getting on and off their vans. They are also required to have a second person make sure all children are out of the vehicles to help prevent incidents like this.
Child left in day care van for hours; neighbor rescues child
Action News Jax anchors discuss their experiences mentoring…
Buses return to roads as Duval County students head back to school
Action News Jax Investigates: Kids being arrested in Duval County schools
Safety on the busy roads near schools