Police have arrested two day care workers in Pensacola, Florida, and charged them with homicide after they allegedly left a 3-year-old child in a hot van, the Pensacola News Journal reports.
Louvenia Shantae Johnson, 28, and Cornel Antonio McGee, 27, were both charged with homicide-negligent manslaughter in connection with the death of the child, Jai’nier Barnes.
The two were employees of In His Arms Christian Center, where Barnes was found in a distressed state on Friday afternoon. She later died at a hospital.
Johnson and McGree allegedly failed to follow the day care center’s procedure to make sure the van was empty, causing Barnes’ death, the newspaper reports.
Florida’s Department of Children and Family Services shut down the day care Friday for 90 days or until an investigation into the death is complete.
A reporter observed Johnson on Friday exiting the day care center as authorities towed the van away.
“I’m going to kill myself,” Johnson cried. “I’m not going down for this.”
She later left the scene about 20 minutes later.
Johnson previously was fined for leaving two children unattended in a vehicle in 2014, court records show.
And she isn’t the only one with a troubling record. The day care also has had four violations of state rules within the last two years. The most recent report of an incident was generated July 20, in which an employee forcibly pulled a child by the nose and left a bruise. The report described the discipline as “severe, humiliating or frightening to children.”
Barnes’ death is the second time this month and the fifth instance this year that a child died at a Florida day care after being left in a vehicle, it has been reported.
Johnson and McGree were booked into jail Wednesday.
[Featured Image: Escambia County Jail]