The mother of a 3-year-old boy in Jacksonville, Florida, is furious.
She told ActionNewsJax that her son was abandoned this week inside a van that takes children to and from the All About God’s Children Academy.
According to a heavily redacted police report, the incident happened Tuesday evening. The mother called police panicked that her son "had not been dropped off from day care" and had been missing for nearly four hours.
The 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 the 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.
ActionNewsJax went to the 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 questions and asked a news 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 two teams from the Florida Department of Children and Families are now investigating.
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.
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