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Report: Boy, 4, dies after being left for hours in sweltering SUV

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MIAMI -- The Broward County Sheriff's Office is investigating the death of a 4-year-old boy at a Tamarac apartment complex.

According to BSO spokeswoman Dani Moschella, the boy died Wednesday after he was found at the apartment complex at 7806 N. Colony Circle.

No other details were given, but according to a report in the Miami Herald that cited unidentified sources, the child had been left in a sweltering SUV for more than two hours by the daughter of the operator of 3C's Day Academy, a Sunrise day-care center.


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According to the report, the boy and seven other children were taken to the apartment complex by the 20-year-old because the day care owner was afraid child-care-licensing administrators would see she was caring for more children than her license allowed.

But when they got to the complex, the 4-year-old was left in the car with outside temperatures in the 90s while the other children were brought to a unit, the report said.

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The owner of 3C's Day Academy, 42-year-old Cecily Roberts, has been cited three times since 2010 for running an over-capacity facility and twice for leaving infants and toddler in the care of her daughter, who doesn't meet the age requirement for supervising a child-care center, the Herald said.

A woman who answered Roberts' phone Friday morning said Roberts was unavailable for comment.

3C's Day Academy, which is a home-based day care, has also been reported to the Department of Children and Families on three occasions, including once for improper supervision of children, the Herald reported.

DCF spokesman Joe Follick referred questions about the case to the BSO, which handles child protective investigation work in Broward, and the county, which performs child care licensing.

"We are working very closely with our partners to make sure that these children are safe and that anyone who has committed a crime is held responsible to the fullest extent of the law," Follick said in a statement. "This tragic case serves as a dark reminder of the dangers of leaving a child unattended for any amount of time in a vehicle. It is also a sad reminder that parents should fully investigate the background of day care facilities."

He said information on child care licensing and a list of licensed facilities can be found here.

Broward County Sheriff Al Lamberti told the Herald that they're waiting for the medical examiner to determine how the child died.

"We’re waiting for the medical examiner to come back with a ruling. That’s why we can’t really say anything," Lamberti said. "We don’t know if it was neglect or homicide."

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