Driver of day care van where 2-year-old boy died says she hadn't been trained on safety alarm

Engrid Thurston explains actions leading to death of Noah Sneed, warrant reveals

By Peter Burke - Local10.com Managing Editor

Engrid Thurston, 46, faces one count of aggravated manslaughter in the July 29 death of Noah Sneed.

OAKLAND PARK, Fla. - A day care worker facing charges in the death of a 2-year-old boy who was left in a hot van claimed she had never been instructed on how to properly turn off the vehicle's safety alarm system, an arrest warrant said.

Engrid Thurston, 46, was arrested earlier this month on one count of aggravated manslaughter in the July 29 death of Noah Sneed.

The toddler's body was found inside the parked van at Ceressa's Daycare & Preschool in Oakland Park.

A medical examiner determined Noah died from hyperthermia after being left inside the hot van for hours.

According to a Broward Sheriff's Office arrest warrant, Thurston told Detective John Curcio that she turned off the van's safety alarm and then, with the help of other staff members, removed the children and their bags.

When Curcio explained to her that disabling the safety alarm before removing the children "defeated the purpose" of why it was there to begin with, Thurston said "she had never been given instructions as to the order of events to turn off the safety alarm system."

Thurston went on to say that she never went back to the van to check to see if any child was left behind because her "knees and joints were aching."

It was only after a co-worker found Noah's bag and asked why he wasn't at the day care that Thurston "went out to the van and realized that she had left (him) inside the van," she explained, according to the warrant.

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