The Pella Police Department has concluded an investigation following a report from the Pella Community School District regarding a three-year-old child being inadvertently left in a school van in April.
No criminal charges will be filed after a detective followed up with the school, van driver, and child’s guardians, who all cooperated. It was determined that no evidence of criminal intent existed, and the child was accidently left in the vehicle. The Pella Police Department brought the case before the Marion County Attorney and according to a news release, “it was determined that based upon the totality of the circumstances there was insufficient evidence to support a criminal charge.”
According to Pella Schools Superintendent Greg Ebeling, a child was left inside a parked vehicle alone in the bus lot for approximately two and 1/2 hours on April 19th. The driver of the van did not drop the child off at the preschool, as was typical practice. Ebeling says the driver had their contract terminated.
He says the child was discovered in the vehicle and still secure in her child seat and playing with the items in her backpack. The district reports the child suffered no physical harm. District attendance procedures and driving guidelines were updated, and each preschool van will now have a system that will warn drivers of students left in a child seat.