DELTONA, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - A group of Deltona Middle School students have organized a moment of silence to honor a baby found dead in a car on their campus.
Authorities say a woman who inadvertently left a baby boy inside a car on Friday had been watching him for the past six weeks for a family member. When Chanda Larson realized what she had done, the 6-month-old Trenton Cason-Collins was already dead.
Larson, 38, spoke with deputies from the Volusia County Sheriff's Office, laying out the timeline of her morning. According to investigators, Larson dropped her son off at his school, then brought Trenton's sister to her bus stop. Larson was supposed to drop Trenton off at a daycare in Deltona, but she said she forgot and drove directly to Deltona Middle School, where she is a match teacher. She arrived at the school around 7:30 a.m. and went to class. When she returned to her SUV after school, around 4 p.m., she discovered that the baby was still secured in his car seat. She immediately called 911.
According to the incident report, the baby is Larson's cousin. The Department of Children and Family Services tells FOX 35 they were never involved in any investigations involving the baby and had nothing to do with the baby being in Laron's Care.
Early Monday, the Sheriff's Office released the frantic 911 call Larson made when she had discovered what she had done. She is so distraught the in much of the first 90 seconds, the dispatcher cannot understand what she is saying. Another worker from the school gets on the phone and explains that someone is doing CPR on a baby and that Larson had left the young infant in the backseat of the car. The child was not breathing or responding to CPR. Baby Trenton would be declared dead on scene.
Volusia County Schools tells FOX 35 that Larson has worked for the district for a total of 5-and-a-half years. The spokesperson for the district, Nancy Wait, said several students and faculty members were still on campus at the time Larson realized the baby was left in the car all day. Grief counselors were brought in Monday for the staff who had a professional development day. Students will return to campus Tuesday.
The Deltona Middle School principal sent out an automated alert message to parents Friday, letting them know that grief counselors would be available to students when they returned to school. Wait says a sixth-grader at the school has organized a moment of silence for those who wish take part on Tuesday morning. It will be an informal gathering taking place by the flagpole at 8:30 a.m., according to Wait.
A makeshift memorial for baby Trenton of stuffed animals, balloons and flowers is growing bigger by the hour. The district spokesperson says the school's principal is organizing a stuffed animal drive for students who wish to continue bringing items. Those stuffed animals will then be handed out to charitable organizations around the area in memory of Baby Trenton.