Friday, July 27, 2012

Woman arrested in death of toddler left in day care van - WFAA

by CYNTHIA VEGA

WFAA

Posted on July 27, 2012 at 12:09 PM

Updated today at 12:11 PM

DALLAS - Police in Dallas have arrested 32-year-old Erica Hooks, the day care worker accused of leaving a 3-year-old boy inside a parked van for more than two hours on a 100-plus degree day last Friday.

Little Benjamin Price died soon afterwards, most likely of heat stroke, according to the medical examiner.

Police charged Hooks with injury to a child. She remains behind bars in the Dallas County Jail with bail set at $50,000.

The Dallas Morning News reports Hooks is also being held on two outstanding traffic tickets, including a disabled parking certificate.

Police said the incident happened when Hooks returned to the Little T's Tiny Tots Daycare on 2253 South Buckner with a van full of toddlers following a field trip to the movies earlier in the day. Price somehow got left behind in the van and was not discovered for two or more hours, according to police.

Child Protective Services said the state is continuing its investigation of the day care center. That could take up to 30 days, according to spokesperson Marissa Gonzalez.

Gonzalez also told News 8 Little T's agreed to shut down voluntarily for the duration of the state's investigation. Initially, the state had ordered the center to discontinue transporting children in any way. The daycare has been closed since Tuesday.

E-mail cvega@wfaa.com

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