BRANDON, Fla. -- A Brandon family is facing the ultimate heartbreak: a 2-year-old boy is dead after being left in a hot SUV Tuesday. Their 21-year-old daughter is the one who forgot the little boy and could face charges.
Investigators say 21-year-old Fiorella Silva-Tello went into work at a daycare in the Oak Park Shopping Center in Brandon, leaving her half-brother, Jacob Manchego, in the SUV. She didn't discover what she did until more than five hours later.
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There’s a sign on the daycare window at BFF Kids warning parents and other supervisors of children to “Look before you lock. Never leave a child alone in a car.”
The reminder wasn't enough to save Jacob.
Tuesday night, Silva-Tello returned home with her parents with her head covered with a jacket after a devastating day. Investigators say her mistake cost her 2-year-old brother his life.
“It’s gut wrenching, physically debilitating, no way around it,” said Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Larry McKinnon.
Detectives questioned Silva-Tello for hours and say while she went into work Tuesday morning to care for other children, she left Jacob in the locked SUV without the air conditioning running for five hours. She discovered the unconscious little boy when she went out for a break.
“If you're in that profession, and you would think you'd have even more of a heightened sense of making sure this doesn't happen,” McKinnon said.
“I try to take as many precautions as I can,” says former day care father Nevaldo Anderson. Anderson says he uses technology to help keep his daughter safe.
“I usually use an app called Waze. It has a reminder anytime you reach your destination, and it'll remind you, ‘Did you grab Arie from the car?” Anderson said.
Once Silva-Tello discovered her brother, she rushed him down to a nearby dialysis center, where they tried to revive him, as did paramedics. The little boy died at the hospital.
With temperatures in the mid-80s on Tuesday, sealed cars became even more dangerous. Parents say it's a deadly mistake that the sister and family will have to live with.
“We are all praying for you. It’s very sad,” said Anderson.
“We all have busy lives and can get sidetracked and leave them in there, but in the Florida weather, it doesn't take long to see a tragic accident happen,” added McKinnon.
A day care worker tells 10News that their hearts go out to the family as well.
The sheriff’s office hasn’t yet revealed if charges will be filed. They’re looking into whether child protective investigators have had prior contact with the family.
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