Homestead daycare driver pleads guilty in toddler’s death

A Homestead daycare driver who left a toddler to die inside a sweltering van will serve six months in jail and must complete seven years of probation.

Lelier Perez Hernandez pleaded guilty Tuesday to manslaughter in the death of 22-month-old Dominicue Andrews, who died inside the van in August 2011. Prosecutors said Perez Hernandez drove the van for Jomiba Learning Center, picking up more than a dozen kids, including Dominicue, who fell asleep in a car seat.

But while getting the children out of the van, Perez Hernandez somehow missed Dominicue. The boy stayed there for hours until Perez Hernandez found him unresponsive hours later. He didn’t tell co-workers, instead unbuckling the toddler and putting him outside on a concrete slab on the school’s east side. A staff member later found the boy. Rescue workers arrived and pronounced him dead.

Miami-Dade police said Perez Hernandez admitted to forgetting the boy in the van and neglecting to do the required check to ensure no children were left inside.