Florida day care worker charged in death of 2-year-old left in hot van, officials say

A Florida day care worker, who reportedly failed to follow protocol and switched off a safety alarm in the van she was driving, has been charged in the July death of a 2-year-old boy who'd been left in the sweltering vehicle for hours.

The Broward Sheriff's Office arrested Engrid Thurston, 46, on Friday. She has been charged with aggravated manslaughter in the death of Noah Sneed.

Thurston reportedly was released on bond Saturday.

The Broward Sheriff's Office arrested Engrid Thurston, 46, on Friday. She has been charged with aggravated manslaughter in the July death of Noah Sneed. 

The Broward Sheriff's Office arrested Engrid Thurston, 46, on Friday. She has been charged with aggravated manslaughter in the July death of Noah Sneed.  (Broward Sheriff’s Office)

Detectives said Thurston picked up Sneed and other children on July 29, adding that she had disengaged a safety alarm in the van that would have alerted her if she left anyone behind.

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Thurston allegedly shut off the alarm – which would make a sound if passengers were left inside – before letting children out of the van that day.

Sneed was found dead in the parking lot of Ceressa’s Daycare & Preschool in Oakland Park on July 29 after he'd been left inside the vehicle for more than five hours as temperatures soared to around 93 degrees, the Miami Herald reported.

A medical examiner reportedly determined Sneed died of hyperthermia.

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Sneed's family was happy to hear an arrest had been made in the case, WPLG reported.

"This was a situation that could have been avoided, if proper procedures and protocol was followed," Shatavia Symonette, Noah's aunt, said. "Someone is to blame for it. It was a careless mistake, and we just want to make sure that it doesn't happen to anybody else."

Symonette added, "We have no idea [why the alarm was turned off], and those are the questions that we're still asking."

If convicted, Thurston could face a possible life sentence for the charge of aggravated manslaughter of a child.

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It was not immediately known if Thurston had an attorney.

Fox News' Kira Grant and The Associated Press contributed to this report.