PORTALES, N.M. (AP) — The eastern New Mexico home daycare where a small child died this week after being left in a hot car had been commended in a past inspection by state officials, according to public documents.
But the state Children, Youth and Families Department has now revoked the license of the daycare in Portales after two young children were left in a car for about 90 minutes. One of the children died and another is in critical condition.
An inspection conducted in August 2016 found the daycare was in compliance, with an inspector noting “keep up the great work!” in the written report available online. The daycare has been licensed since 2013.
Authorities have said the daycare’s owner, 67-year-old Mary E. Taylor, and her daughter, 31-year-old Sandi Taylor, were arrested on suspicion of child abuse. It’s unclear whether they have attorneys.
“This is a heartbreaking tragedy and our hearts go out to the families of these children. There’s no excuse for leaving children unattended in hot cars. The providers have both been arrested and we are working closely with law enforcement on this case,” said Henry Varela, spokesman for the state’s Children, Youth and Families Department.
Police have said responding officers found the children not breathing Tuesday afternoon. The children’s ages weren’t released.
Deputy District Attorney Brian Stover said police believe the two children were left in the vehicle after a worker returned from taking six children to a park.
The high temperature in Clovis near Portales was 95 degrees on Tuesday.