As authorities yesterday continued to investigate the death of a toddler found in a school van, child advocates said those kinds of incidents are preventable.
Charges had yet to be filed in the death of 17-month-old Gabriel Josh-Cazir Pierre and they likely will not be until after an autopsy is complete, a spokesman for the Suffolk district attorney’s office said. Complete autopsy results could take weeks.
Pierre was found dead inside a school van in front of a Dorchester day care Monday afternoon. Police believe the boy was left there for hours.
Police said the driver of the van, who was hospitalized after discovering the boy, was likely inside the home housing the day care.
The facility, Gloria Luna’s Family Day Care, was shut down after the incident when city officials found it had no certificates to operate, as well as multiple violations.
Monday’s incident in which Pierre was found dead was just one of three recent incidents of children left in cars and buses in the Greater Boston area.
Boston police officers on foot patrol yesterday were notified of an 8-month-old left unattended in a car in Roxbury. They were able to free the child, who was “sweating heavily.”
When the mother, Idalia Grant, 27, of Boston, showed up, she began crying and said she forgot the child in the car and was gone for up to 30 minutes, police said.
The child was expected to be OK, and Grant was charged with neglect of a child.
Sue Auriemma, a member of the child advocacy group KidsAndCars.org, said such incidents are common and preventable.
“Many school systems now require drivers to check the buses or vans,” she said. “It’s becoming a more common policy.”