3 face charges after Ga. child left in van dies

JONESBORO, Ga.  — The owner and two staff members of a Clayton County daycare are facing charges after a 2-year-old girl died after being left in a van after a field trip to a Chuck E. Cheese's restaurant, police said.

 

The girl, Jasmine Green, died Monday after being left in the van for hours in the summer heat outside Marlo's Magnificent Early Learning Center, authorities said. Monday's high temperatures in the Atlanta area were in the 90s.

"They just kept saying she fell asleep between the seats, and they didn't realize she was gone," Jasmine's mother, April McAlister, told WSB-TV. "I just don't understand how they can do that to my baby."

Someone noticed that the child was not in the center Monday afternoon, and she was found in the van, Clayton County police Lt. Tina Daniel said. The child was taken to Southern Regional Medical Center in Riverdale, where she died.

"You miss my child for three hours? That's not a mistake, that's a problem," said the girl's father, Checo Green.

Daycare owner Marlo Maria Fallings, 41, of Riverdale was arrested Tuesday on charges of cruelty to children, involuntary manslaughter and reckless conduct, police said. Quantabia Shantell Hopkins, 23, of Riverdale was arrested on the same charges, authorities said. A juvenile also was arrested.

Jail records did not indicate whether Fallings or Hopkins have attorneys in the case. No one answered the telephone at the center Tuesday.

State inspection records indicate the daycare had been previously cited for what regulators determined was a failure to document a field trip. Authorities said the inspection showed that staff members did not initial or document the field trip form for children after an October field trip.

Georgia law requires that checks must be made after field trips to assure that no child remains in the vehicle.

 

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