5-year-old boy left locked in daycare van for 3 hours in Greensboro

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- A mom says her 5-year-old son was left in a locked daycare van for three hours.

April Murphy's son goes to The Academy of Spoiled Kids in Greensboro for after school care. On Wednesday Murphy was running late so she had a friend pick up her son from daycare.

"The friend got to the daycare and the daycare told him that my child was absent or had already been picked up for the day," explains April Murphy, who says her son was left in a daycare van.

Murphy immediately called her son's school and then the police. Shortly later Murphy got a call from a daycare worker saying they found her son.

"I asked her where was he and she hesitated and she said he fell asleep on the van ride earlier when he was picked up from school so he's been on the van," says Murphy.

Murphy says her son was left on the van for three hours until a daycare worker heard him pounding on the van windows.

"He was panicking. He was scared. He was just very distraught, that was just very terrifying for a child that young to go through something like that."

The Greensboro Police did charge a van driver at The Academy of Spoiled Kids that day. Authorities wouldn't provide other details because the case involves a juvenile. FOX8 tried to talk to The Academy of Spoiled Kids to get their side of the story. A worker told us they would have to talk to an attorney first and until then no comment.

Murphy's son is fine but his mom trust is broken.

"My child was left behind. There was no excuse for what they did. It's just not tolerable," Murphy says. This mom says her son has questions that she can't help him with.

"He wanted to know why he was forgotten about, why he was left on the van. You know, I really didn't have a good answer for that," says Murphy.

Murphy says her son has been enrolled in The Academy of Spoiled Kids since the summer and she's never had a problem until this.


  • FaithC

    A good thing it was not so cold or hot. How do you not know how many children you picked up, and make sure that many get out of the van. Just glad the child is OK.

    • Otto Nonneman

      One won’t know how many kids get on or off because one is too busy tweeting Facebook on Instagram from the driver’s seat.

  • Mark Stabler

    What’s the problem with identifying the driver that was supposedly charged by the Greensboro Police. I hope the driver wasn’t a minor, which apparently was the excuse for not listing the name of the driver.

    • FaithC

      I would hope they would not allow someone under the age of 18 to drive around children and be responsible for them.

  • Mallory H.

    One thing to also think about, is that the van should have child safety locks on which wouldn’t allow him to unlock and get out from the inside. Poor kid..I feel terrible for him

  • Jan

    This is not about if the child knew how to unlock the door or not. This daycare is responsible for knowing where every child is at all times. Why was he not missed for 3 hours. Daycare and driver were negligent.

  • jd

    Whether the kid was left in a park or in a van doesn’t matter. The kid was not accounted for 3hours. A lot can happen in 3hours.

  • Amy WIlkerson

    This is not about the van, or whether he knew how to unlock it or not. This is not about whether my tax money pays for his daycare either.. This is, however, about negligence. The daycare is responsible for this childs well being while he is attending their facility, period.

    • Jane

      Interesting that you would add about your tax payer money might be paying for his daycare. You can’t make assumptions. This is a very good daycare. Mistakes happen. When I was younger, I was left on the school bus. Mistake on the school system, but my mother didn’t go to the media.

  • Jane

    First off, this event happened on December 4, 2013. The mother never went to the media. So why now all of the sudden is the mother talking to the media like this happened yesterday? Mistakes happen. This is a very good daycare. I know because my children have attended for years. If you ask me, she is just trying to make a case to sue the daycare.

      • Jane

        The same way my mother handled the same situation when I was left on the school bus. I would understand what happened and want to know what actions they would put in place to prevent this from happening.

        How is this any different from a Guilford Cty school bus dropped of children at the wrong stop and they couldn’t figure out how to get home. Those parents did not create a stink about it. These children were in danger because they were left outside, in the cold, and lost. Not to mention the fact that anyone could have grabbed one of them at anytime.

        Sometimes we have to have understanding, grace, mercy, and forgiveness. How many new mothers have forgotten their baby in the car?

  • CSP

    As a mother I left my baby in the car. My daughter attended that daycare for 2 years. They were absolutely wonderful. I have been on the vans before and it is difficult to see older kids when they are all the way in the back. They just need to come up with a better way to make sure each child is accounted for when they get to the daycare. They can have a check-off sheet and check it off when they arrive to the daycare. I will agree 3 hours is a long time, but comments about who is paying is stupid. That has nothing to do with the situation at hand,

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