Charges in death of 3-year-old in day care's hot van

Myles Hill

CBS affiliate WKMG

ORLANDO, Fla. -- An Orlando day care employee was arrested Thursday afternoon and charged with aggravated manslaughter in the death of a 3-year-old boy found dead in a van, reports CBS affiliate WKMG.

Deborah St. Charles, 51, is being held on $30,000 bond. She's accused of leaving young Myles Hill in a van outside his day care for more than 11 hours on Monday, a day in which outdoor temperature in Orlando hit as high as 93 degrees.

St. Charles cried during her appearance before the judge as her public defender tried to get her bond reduced.

"She can't afford bond," he said. "She's been a resident in Florida her entire life. Her family is here. It's too high for this charge."

The public defender said authorities did not provide a thorough investigation, adding that St. Charles' work history and relationships with co-workers and children at Little Miracles were not taken into consideration.

Myles was one of several children St. Charles picked up and brought to Little Miracles Academy II, according to a police report. When she arrived around 9 a.m., she grabbed cleaning supplies from the back of the van before the other children got out and walked with her into the day care. Hill remained in the van, police said. 

St. Charles told police she was on the phone at the time and she allegedly admitted to not counting the children. Myles was marked "present" on a staff log at the day care, and the boy was not discovered in the van until 8:28 p.m.

Orlando police crime scene investigators said the temperature inside the van, at noon, would have reached 133 degrees and by 3 p.m., 144 degrees. The "unbearable environment" caused Myles' death, according to the medical examiner, who determined his cause of death was hyperthermia.

State authorities announced Wednesday that the day care has been shuttered.