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Woman arrested in death of 2-year-old boy left in van

Angel Matute-Chavez left inside van for at least 6 hours

MIAMI – Miami police took day care owner Karen Julissa Aviles into custody Saturday in relation to the death of a 2-year-old boy who was found inside a van earlier this week.

Police contacted Aviles at her home Saturday. The 36-year-old, who is in charge of Vision for Life Academy, now faces an aggravated manslaughter charge after the death of Angel Matute Chavez.

The arrest form shows the child was found in the back seat of the van around 4 p.m. Wednesday still wearing his seat belt.

Police said he was "bluish" with "blood coming from his nose and ears." It's believed he was locked inside the van in the scorching heat since early that morning.

His official cause of death was "hyperthermia due to extreme environmental temperature."

Public records list Aviles as the center's vice president and police said she picked up Angel and his older brother that morning and brought them to the center.

"She cares for those children as her own, and I can tell you she's devastated," Emy Étienne said.

Local 10 News went to Aviles' home Friday, but no one answered the door to answer any questions.

The Department of Children and Families conducted regular inspections of the facility and found no major problems, though it was not authorized to transport children.

Records show Aviles also owned Bethel Early Learning Center in Wynwood. The day care is closed down, however, and the reason is still unclear.

Vision for Life -- described on its Facebook page as a loving, caring, safe school -- is no longer operational.

"They don't know how to explain it, because there's no way to explain it," concerned parent Jessica Lewis said.


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