Mother responds to toddler's death, found in hot daycare van out - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Mother responds to toddler's death, found in hot daycare van outside Louisville elementary school

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Lavontae Swain Lavontae Swain

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Heartbreak and questions surround the death of a Louisville toddler found in a van during afterschool pick-up.

The coroner said LaVontae Xavier Swain, 2, died Monday from the heat.

LMPD officers were called to the scene just southeast of the Dixie Highway-Watterson Expressway interchange on reports of a child in cardiac arrest.

“He was my only child,” sobbed Carless Swain, barely able to put together words through her grief. “I called him Vontae. I called him Daddy and King.”

LaVontae was in the van about “three to four hours,” according to Louisville Metro Police spokeswoman Alicia Smiley. 

Swain did not actually have custody of her little boy. The 19-year-old mother said they'd been in Kentucky’s foster system together, and her foster mother was still caring for her son.

In an emailed statement, Smiley confirmed that, ”An employee of Lil' Kings and Queens Daycare was operating the van.” 

A JCPS spokesperson said carpool attendants noticed the unresponsive child Monday at Gutermuth Elementary in the back of a van going through the carpool line.

Staff and a school nurse immediately called 911.

Swain said the daycare is run by her aunt. Investigators from the state Inspector General's office visited the daycare Tuesday.

WDRB obtained records showing the state's investigated the side-by-side facilities on Terry Road seven times since 2012. Last year, inspectors discovered some children listed as being on a van for "hours at a time," others signed on and off the van within a minute.

Despite the findings, the daycare has a star rating from the state for going above and beyond for kids. 

“I just want the truth and nothing but the truth,” Swain said. 

Police say the investigation is ongoing.

UPDATE | LMPD says 2-year-old child found outside Gutermuth Elementary was in cardiac arrest

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