3 charged in toddler's death in hot daycare van

5:53 PM, Jun 21, 2011   |    comments
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Video: 3 charged in toddler's death in hot daycare van

Video: Child dies in daycare van

Jazmin Green
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JONESBORO, Ga. -- Three people have been charged in connection with the death of a 2-year-old girl, who died after being left in a daycare van for hours Monday afternoon.

Early Tuesday morning, Marlo Fallings, owner of Marlo's Magnificent Early Learning Center in Jonesboro, along with Fallings' daughter, Quantabia Hopkins and a juvenile, were each charged with second degree cruelty to children, involuntary manslaughter and reckless conduct.

State records show it's not the first time Marlo's has failed to keep track of its kids.

In a Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning licensing study dated March 1, 2011, evaluators noted: "591-1-1-.36(6)(d) requires that at the completion of every trip, a check must be made to assure that no child remains on the vehicle. The center staff did not initial or document the field trip form for children transported on October 26, 2010." 

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The daycare was supposed to "instruct staff regarding this safety measure" months ago.

Little Jazmin Green was forgotten Monday afternoon.

Her parents spoke to 11Alive News outside Southern Regional Medical Center in Riverdale, where Jazmin was pronounced dead. 

Her mom April McAlister said the daycare had called and told her to go to the hospital, but didn't say why.

"When I got there, they told me my baby went into cardiac arrest," McAlister said. "They left my baby in the van."

She said she took Jazmin and her 3-year-old son Savion to Marlo's everyday.

On Monday, the kids had gone on a daycare field trip to Chuck E. Cheese. When they returned to the daycare on Thrasher Court, all of the children were removed from the van -- except Jazmin.

A relative who came to the daycare to pick up Savion Green questioned how they could take Savion off the van and not Jazmin.

"I don't understand how they forgot about her when they are always together holding hands," Yvette Jackson said.

It wasn't until nearly three hours after the van returned to the daycare that someone noticed Jazmin was missing, according to Lt. Tina Daniel of the Clayton County Police Department.

"They came back and did locate the child in the van," Daniel said.

The temperature outside was well above 90 degrees and the sun was shining brightly all afternoon.

"And they left her in that van, forgetting that she was in there," McAlister said. "I want to see justice served."

"It's hot. It's Georgia," Jazmin's father Charles Green said. "Who forgets children in a van? Who?

Green said his daughter knew everyone at the daycare by their names.

"My daughter trusted them folks like she trusted me," he said as he broke down in tears. "I don't know why they would leave my daughter out of all the people when they know her."

"They took my baby!" McAlister cried as she fell into Green's arms. "She was a beautiful girl. She was so smart and just lovable and playful."

Clayton County Police put a thermometer in one of their patrol cars outside the daycare center to get an idea how hot the van was. Lt. Daniels said after 15 minutes, the thermometer read 138 degrees.

"Zero seconds, zero seconds is the amount of time a child should be left alone in a car to prevent something like this from happening," Daniels said.

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