Dallas police investigate death of toddler possibly left in hot car

06:24 PM CDT on Monday, July 21, 2008
By SCOTT GOLDSTEIN / The Dallas Morning News
sgoldstein@dallasnews.com

Dallas police are investigating whether an 18-month-old girl who died this afternoon had been left in a hot car before a man brought her to a fire station seeking help.

A man brought the girl to the station in the 700 block of West Illinois Avenue about 3:30 p.m., Dallas police Lt. Vernon Hale said. She was taken to Children’s Medical Center Dallas, where she was pronounced dead a short time later, he said.

Lt. Hale said Dallas-Fire Rescue had indicated the child had been left in a hot car but that police have not confirmed that yet.

The man who brought her to the fire station is not her father, and it is unclear how he is connected to the girl, he said.

Detectives are at the hospital investigating and are talking to the man who brought the girl to the station, Lt. Hale said.


Police ID tot who may have died in day care van

02:10 PM CDT on Tuesday, July 22, 2008

By SCOTT GOLDSTEIN and HOLLY YAN / The Dallas Morning News

DALLAS — Dallas police have released the name of the 19-month-old girl who may have been left in a day care van on one of the hottest days of the year.

Police said they were still waiting for autopsy results in the death of Kamila Brown.

A man brought Kamila to an Oak Cliff fire station in the 700 block of West Illinois Avenue about 3:30 p.m. Monday, Dallas police Lt. Vernon Hale said. She was taken to Children's Medical Center Dallas, where she was pronounced dead a short time later, he said.

Dallas-Fire Rescue officials indicated Kamila had been left in a hot car, Lt. Hale said. He said police investigators had not confirmed that yet and no arrests had been made as of this afternoon.

Investigators appeared to be focusing their attention on two west Oak Cliff day care facilities registered to the same owner.

On Monday evening, Dallas police crime scene investigators took photos of Tyne Gifted Achievers day care in the 2400 block of Emmett Street. Officers at the scene said they had also been at Tyne Gifted Achievers No. 2 in the 3100 block of Dutton Drive, which was closed today.

Police outside Children's Medical Center were seen taking custody of a van registered to the day care center's owner.

Parents picking their children up from the Emmett Street facility said day care officials told them of an emergency. One said she had been told a child had been accidentally left on a bus and died.

No one answered the door at the Dutton Drive location. A woman left and later returned to the Emmett Street location with her face wrapped in a blanket. She declined to answer reporters' questions.

Dallas police officials would not comment on whether the child was connected to either of the day care centers, both of which have been cited by the state for numerous violations.

Tyne Gifted Achievers, at 2411 Emmett in Dallas, was found to have violations in five out of nine inspections in the last year. Those violations include improper maintenance of sign-in and sign-out logs, keeping areas free from hazards, having too high a child-to-caregiver ratio and improper space between slats in cribs.

Tyne Gifted Achievers No. 2, at 3111 Dutton Drive, was cited for violations from all seven of its state inspections since March 7, 2007. Violations include allowing two infants to sleep alone in a room with the door closed, a driver not requiring children to wear seat belts and a driver not having current first aid training.

A man who answered the phone at Tyne Gifted Achievers hung up on a reporter Monday evening. Willa Monroe, the listed owner of Tyne Gifted Achievers, could not be reached for comment.

No one answered the phone at Tyne Gifted Achievers No. 2 late Monday.

According to Kids and Cars, an organization that monitors car-related child deaths nationwide, 16 percent of nontraffic fatalities between 2002 and 2007 involving children under age 15 were due to hyperthermia.

WFAA-TV reporter Craig Civale contributed to this story.