Oakland Park day care shut down after toddler found dead in van parked outside

OAKLAND PARK, FLA. (WSVN) - A day care in Oakland Park has been shut down after a 2-year-old boy was found dead inside a van parked outside.

A criminal investigation is underway on Tuesday after a toddler was found dead inside a white Ford van parked outside of Ceressa’s Enrichment and Empowerment Academy, located along the 3100 block of Northwest 21st Avenue, on Monday afternoon.

The child was later identified as Noah Sneed.

“The boy was transported to this facility inside that van,” said Broward Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Keyla Concepcion.

The day care center was shut down by the Broward Sheriff’s Office Child Protective Investigations Section pending the results of the investigation.

On Monday, deputies said they brought the toddler’s mother to BSO’s Public Safety Headquarters, where they notified her of the death.

It remains unknown how long the child was inside of the van before his body was found.

“He was picked up around 7 something, and then they said everybody got off the bus, and then they said somebody was leaving the facility around 3 something to go to lunch and spotted the baby in the car,” said Charlene Ann Brooks, the child’s grandmother. “How did that lady come out and spot him in the car and nobody else? I don’t understand.”

According to the toddler’s grandmother, the boy had asthma.

She said the child was a happy toddler who was always laughing.

“He loved to play. He loved to be at the park,” she said. “He loved to be with his sisters and brothers.”

Brooks said the thought of him being stuck in the hot van for hours just haunts her.

“I know if he got hot, and he started screaming and crying … you don’t know if he cried himself to death or anything in this damn van, man,” said Brooks.

The driver of the van has not been identified.

“Who’s not counting these children? How can you tell a parent that now I’m responsible for your child’s death?” said Kysha Johnson, who lives in the area.

Authorities said the child lived at the Broward Partnership for the Homeless in Fort Lauderdale.

Officials at the shelter told 7News they were heartbroken to hear the news about the loss of a member of their family.

In a statement, they said, “We are saddened by the situation and are providing the mother and family with the appropriate services. We extend our thoughts and prayers to the mother and her family during this difficult time.”

According to Kids and Cars, Sneed is the fourth child in 2019 to die in a hot car.

“The little kids was telling them there was a baby on the bus and he was sleeping. Why nobody never go check to see? I don’t understand,” said Brooks.

Click here to contribute to the family’s GoFundMe campaign.

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