Crime

Lexington child is left in a day care van for over 9 hours

Lexington police are investigating an incident in which a 3-year-old boy was left in a Precious Jewels van on Augusta Drive for more than nine hours.
Lexington police are investigating an incident in which a 3-year-old boy was left in a Precious Jewels van on Augusta Drive for more than nine hours. gkocher1@herald-leader.com

Lexington police are investigating an incident in which a 3-year-old boy was left alone in a day care van for more than nine hours.

The child, who was found still strapped in a seat, is believed to have been in the van from 4:30 p.m. Wednesday to 2:30 a.m. Thursday, police said.

Early Thursday, officers responded to an apartment on Winburn Drive, where the victim’s mother reported that her 3-year-old son was missing. The mother told officers her son was supposed to be dropped off at home from Precious Jewels School of Excellence Childcare Center at 5 p.m. Wednesday, but the Augusta Drive day care never dropped him off.

The victim’s 16-year-old sister was at home waiting on the child. The victim’s mother was working until 11 p.m., and when she arrived home, she found out her son had never been dropped off.

The family is originally from Africa and there is a language barrier, police spokeswoman Brenna Angel said. The victim’s mother is also unable to receive calls at work.

Officers contacted the day care owner, who then contacted an employee who was supposed to take the child home. The day care owner and her husband then went to the day care (which had been closed since 6 p.m.) and found the boy inside the van parked outside the business.

No charges were immediately filed, but the case has been assigned to a detective who is investigating further. The incident has also been referred to the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services, police said.

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