Day care where child was found dead in van was previously cited, records show

Police are investigating the death of a young boy found dead in a van Monday night at a day care that had been previously cited by state regulators for transportation issues.

Orlando Police were called about 8:30 p.m. to Little Miracles Academy at Plymouth Avenue and Gore Street in the greater Parramore area.

Police did not know how long the boy had been in the van, Sgt. Eduardo Bernal said. Police did not immediately release the boy’s identity.

As of Tuesday morning, no arrests had been announced.

Day care employees were being interviewed by police, Bernal said.

According to Florida Department of Children and Families records, Little Miracles Academy was last inspected in July.

The day care failed to comply with the “transportation rule” during a July 11 inspection. The facility’s log did not include elements such as arrival and departure times and destination locations, according to the report.

The problem was fixed right away, according to records.

It was one of five violations during DCF inspections since 2015. Other violations included not having a caretakers in sight when the children were napping and not keeping attendance records during a fire drill, the records say.

According to the Florida Department of State, the day care is owned by Audrey and Bryant Thornton. Records show they filed to open the day care in 2009.

There also is a second location — Little Miracles Academy II — at 2514 W. Colonial Dr. Both locations were closed Tuesday morning.

Nearby residents poured onto the sidewalks Monday night to watch as about a dozen police cars surrounded the day care after the boy was found. Several mothers clutched the hands of their own children.

Word of a dead child reached nearby resident Laurie Allen, who said she felt compelled to show support for the family. She thought of her own 4-year-old grandson and said she was saddened and angry.

This is a developing story. Check back to OrlandoSentinel for more details.

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