Sources told The Miami Herald Thursday that Roberts was afraid child-care inspectors would return to her home to ensure she had corrected the June deficiencies, and had asked her daughter to take the eight children away from the center so she didn’t get caught over capacity once again. Sources said the eight youngsters, including two infants, were placed in the SUV without car seats and driven to the apartment complex, where they spent the day. About two-and-a-half hours later, Camile Gordon discovered the 4-year-old passed out in the back of the car.
Gordon called fire-rescue while a neighbor performed CPR on Jordan, sources said.
The Sheriff’s Office, which performs child-abuse investigations in Broward under contract with the Department of Children & Families, had either visited the home or contacted Roberts twice in recent months in an effort to either improve the day-care center or shut it down, a source told the newspaper.
No one answered the door at Roberts’ home Thursday, and she could not be reached by phone. County licensing administrators also could not be reached for comment.
Joe Follick, DCF’s spokesman in Tallahassee, declined to discuss Jordan’s death in detail Thursday, saying it remained under investigation.
“We are working with law enforcement on this tragic case,” Follick said. “We cannot emphasize enough the dangers of leaving a child unattended in a car — for any amount of time,” he said.
Added Amber Rollins, executive assistant to the president at KidsAndCars.org.: “One thing that people don’t realize is how quickly a vehicle heats up. It acts like a greenhouse in fact, letting heat in and with nowhere for the heat to escape. And little ones, their bodies don’t regulate heat the way adults do.
“There’s not much of a chance for a little one left in a van for two hours.”
The tragedy occurred at about 4 p.m. Wednesday at the Versailles Garden apartment complex. Miyoshi Agnew was at home in her apartment when her granddaughter told her a little boy had passed out.
Agnew went outside to a parking lot between two buildings. She saw a young woman on her phone, frantic, and an older woman screaming at that woman. There was an SUV and, standing around, about seven kids, from as young as nine months to as old as 5.
An eighth child, a little boy, was on a strip of grass, not breathing.
Agnew grabbed the phone from the young woman, talked to the 911 operators, she said, and then started doing CPR on the boy, who had saliva coming out of his mouth. After emergency crews arrived, Agnew took the seven kids inside her apartment to get them food and cold air. Two of the children were so young they couldn’t walk on their own.
“It was hot,” Agnew said. “I know it had to be in the 90s.”
Back inside, Agnew’s daughter asked one of the kids, a 5-year-old boy, what happened. He told her the 4-year-old had been left in the SUV by himself.
The woman who had been screaming told Agnew that the children had been there for some type of pool outing and the boy collapsed during a walk.
But the complex’s two pools have both been down for a month with no swimming allowed, Agnew said. And Agnew, who said she keeps an eye out on the neighborhood children, didn’t recognize any of them.
Distraught at what happened, Agnew stayed home from work on Thursday.
“It’s horrible for something like this to happen to a little 4-year-old boy,” she said.
WFOR-CBS 4 contributed to this report.