Jacksonville police: Infant found dead in van at day care; day care co-owner arrested

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — UPDATE, 5/23/19, 2 p.m.: Action News Jax has obtained Darryl Ewing's arrest report.

According to the report, Ewing "was the sole driver of the van from the entire time the children were placed onto the van and until the children were offloaded at the day care center. No other day care center employees were on the transport van during the transit to the center."

The children on the van were offloaded from the van and taken into Ewing's Love and Hope Preschool & Academy around 8:25 a.m.

When Ewing was taken to Jacksonville Sheriff's Office headquarters to be interviewed, he refused to talk with detectives. He also stated he wanted to harm himself while in a JSO interview room, the report said.

UPDATE, 5/23/19, 10:14 a.m.: Darryl Ewing, 56, was issued a $75,000 bond Thursday morning.

Ewing, a co-owner of Ewing's Love & Hope Preschool & Academy was arrested Wednesday evening and charged with child neglect after a 4-month-old girl was left in a day care van for nearly five hours and died Wednesday afternoon, according to Jacksonville police.

A judge ordered no contact with minors or the victim's family.

UPDATE, 5/22/19, 9:13 p.m. - The co-owner of Ewing's Love & Hope Preschool & Academy on Lenox Avenue, Darryl Ewing, was arrested Wednesday, according to jail logs. This follows the death of a 4-month-old girl who, according to police, was left in a day care van for almost five hours.

Ewing, 56, is facing charges of child neglect and was booked into the jail at 8:18 p.m., according to jail logs.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said that after interviewing employees of the day care, investigators learned Ewing was the driver of the day care van. JSO said in a press release, "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."

JSO said the mother of the 4-month-old called the day care shortly after 1 p.m. to make after school arrangements when the day care informed her the baby girl was never checked into the day care.

Day care employees then checked the van and found the baby still in a car seat, unresponsive, according to the Sheriff's Office.

JSO said employees then called emergency services for help. The infant was rushed to the hospital where she pronounced dead.

JSO said investigators determined that Ewing was responsible for maintaining a driver's log of all children placed in the van, which is a separate log from the parental log signed by parents. JSO said the driver, Ewing, signed in the baby girl's siblings, but not the victim.

The Sheriff's Office said in a press release:

"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. The suspect was transported to the police station to be interviewed. The suspect refused to talk with detectives. The suspect was arrested and booked into jail for Child Neglect. The investigation is active and ongoing."

Original story: The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Homicide Unit is investigating after an infant girl was found dead in a van at a day care in the 5800 block of Lenox Avenue on Wednesday afternoon.

JSO Assistant Chief of Major Crimes Brian Kee said police were called to the scene just after 1 p.m. The child was found in a car seat in the back of the day care van not breathing.

Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department personnel tried reviving the child, who was later taken to Wolfson Children's Hospital.

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Sky Action News Jax flew over the scene and showed that police had Ewing's Love & Hope Preschool & Academy on Lenox Avenue roped off.

Police estimate that the child was in the van, which was parked in the sun, from around 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Kee said the girl's death appears to be heat related.

Kee said the day care picks up some children to transport them to the day care while some are dropped off by their parents.

The day care has about 14 children total. No other children were hurt.

Investigators are meeting with the State Attorney's Office to determine what charges are appropriate.

Action News Jax has confirmed that an employee of the day care was previously arrested for child abuse. In a 2017 arrest report, Gloryian Ewing lists Ewing's Love and Hope Preschool and Academy as her employer.

We also checked court records and learned those charges were dropped in March after Ewing completed a pre-trial intervention.


The Florida Department of Children and Families said it has issued an "emergency suspension order to cease operations" at Ewing's Love & Hope Preschool & Academy on Lenox Avenue.

DCF also said that the facility did not notify them that they were transporting children.

LIVE CHOPPER VIDEO: Police have roped off a day care on the Westside as part of an undetermined death investigation: https://bit.ly/2HwO7yE

Posted by Action News Jax on Wednesday, May 22, 2019