The owner of the daycare attended by the New Jersey toddler who was left to die in a hot car on Tuesday said that she is racked with guilt for not calling the child’s parents when little Adriana LeChard didn’t show up for class.
Speaking exclusively to DailyMail.com, Christine Skaria, the operator of the Central Jersey Enrichment Center said: ‘I feel guilty. I wish I would have called that morning.’
She continued: ‘I am broken. The teachers are broken. I treat every child like they are my own and Adriana was mine. I don’t know why God took her. This child was so loved.’
The little girl had reportedly been left in her father’s car for eight hours in sweltering heat, which ran to 92f that afternoon.
Skaria said that Adriana, 2, was enrolled at the school five days a week and that either her mom or her dad would drop her off in the morning between 8am and 9 am, the school opens at 7 am, and she’d get picked up around 4 pm each day.
She said that on Monday Adriana had a great day. They were making bracelets and reading and playing. On Tuesday Adriana did not show up at preschool. Skaria said that she didn’t think of calling her parents because it is the summer and schedules are not as rigid.
Through tears, Skaria defended Adriana’s parents: ‘These are excellent parents…good people. She was my baby. It was an accident … nothing more than an accident. Just tragic. I wish I could take their pain away.’
‘She was so sweet, loving. I would hug her up and sit with her.’
She said on Monday night before she got picked up by her father Skaria hugged Adriana, like she hugs all her children goodbye. Weeping she said, ‘I never thought I would never see her again.’
The memorial for little Adriana LeChard outside of the Central Jersey Enrichment Center in Somerset, New Jersey
Beatriz Viera LeChard, a 38-year-old translator and mother-of-two, leaves her home on Thursday two days after the death of her two-year-old daughter. The child was left in the backseat of a sweltering car for seven hours. Neighbors found her and called 911
Skaria said that Adriana was a happy curious child who was full of life.
She said she was above average, had an excellent vocabulary, beautiful, she loved the color pink, and knew how to hold a crayon already.
‘Her parents were amazing. You would wish every child to have parents like these. They are attentive, loving.I can’t imagine the pain they are going through. You just pray for them. You have to ask God to heal them. ‘
Neighbor Megan Kingston earlier told DailyMail.com that she saw the unnamed dad rush out to lift his two year-old daughter from the Honda SUV on Tuesday afternoon.
Previous reporting claimed the toddler was left in the vehicle by her mom Beatriz Viera LeChard, 38. But Kingston says LeChard was at work throughout – and that she became hysterical on returning to discover her daughter was dead.
Kingston, who works as first lieutenant for Middle Bush Fire Department said she was working from home at around 2pm when she saw the youngster’s dad run out of the garage and open a door to their Honda, which was parked outside.
She said: ‘The father was running inside with the child and I was right behind him. The child was in the kitchen with the father. She was unresponsive. We began CPR.
‘I called over the radio to get rescue units here to try and revive the child.
‘I performed CPR probably 15-20 minutes. I asked the father to assist me with CPR. I tried to help keep the father calm and had him deliver breaths while I was doing the CPR to rapidly cool her down. We put ice packs behind her neck. The child was very warm.’
Shortly afterwards, three ambulances, 20 cops, four paramedics and two doctors arrived on the scene.
Megan Kingston, pictured, saw a toddler’s father panicking after pulling his unresponsive daughter from a hot car. Despite efforts by Kingston and paramedics, the little girl died of her injuries shortly afterwa
Kingston, who works as a lieutenant for the local fire department, was working at her home across the street when she saw the tragedy begin to unfold
At 2:45pm, Beatriz LeChard arrived home ‘frantic and emotionally distraught,’ according to Kingston. It is unclear if she had already been told of the horror unfolding.
Neighbors previously told of their horror at hearing the bereaved parents’ keening wail ringing through their area.
She was put in an ambulance and taken to the Robert Wood Johnson hospital in New Brunswick, which has a specialist pediatric trauma center.
Tragically, her daughter later died.
Kingston said: ‘It’s heartbreaking. I feel for the family.’
Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office has now opened an investigation into the toddler’s death, although it is unclear if criminal charges will follow. DailyMail.com has contacted the office for further information.
On Thursday, LeChard was photographed leaving her home.
She wore sunglasses and a purple t-shirt, with much of her face obscured by her hair. It remains unclear how her daughter came to be forgotten in the back of the car, although it is feared the youngster may have been left in the vehicle for up to seven hours.
Police believe the child may have been in the car for as long as seven hours while temperatures soared to 80 degrees.
LeChard said nothing as she returned to the home today accompanied by another, unidentified woman. A Puerto Rico native, LeChard works as a translator for Bloomberg.
The mother is shown leaving her home on Thursday morning accompanied by a female friend
The anguished mother is shown being consoled by a police officer outside her home in Somerset, New Jersey. The toddler had been in the vehicle for seven hours
The child is believed to have been trapped in her car seat for up to seven hours on Tuesday while temperatures soared
Viera LeChard is a Puerto Rican native who works as a translator for Bloomberg. She has not been charged, but the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office is investigating her daughter’s death
Neighbors along the quiet tree-lined street said they were devastated by the child’s death.
‘They are nice people. It’s such a tragedy,’ one, who did not wish to be named, told DailyMail.com.
‘How can that happen? How do you forget? I guess we’re all forgetful, I’ve forgotten things in the car.
‘But how do you forget the toddler, you know? I don’t know,’ neighbor Alex Krstavski said. They were just screaming in pain and anguish. She collapsed to the ground and he went to console her,’ another neighbor told NBC New York.
‘They’re great parents. I’ve seen them be very loving and doting on their daughters.’
Treana Huntley, who lived opposite them, told The Franklin Reporter that the sound of the parents’ wailing was devastating.
‘It was gut-wrenching, almost made me want to break into tears. As a mother, just hearing that pain from another mother, it was very hurtful to hear. I wouldn’t wish that on anybody.’
She said the death has struck the entire neighborhood. This whole block was very emotional,’ she said.
Property records indicate that the house was last sold in 2013 for $230,000.
The family’s home in Somerset, New Jersey, was quiet on Thursday
There was no sign of anyone in the family at their home on Thursday afternoon
The scene in Somerset, New Jersey, on Tuesday where a toddler died after being forgotten in the car for seven hours
The gray Honda Civic in which the child died is seen parked in the driveway of the house
The car is seen being removed from the house
The parents were informed by police, who knocked on their door, about the death of their daughter
The child is the 22nd to die this year in the U.S. from being left in a hot car, four of which happened in a week’s time in August, according to kidsandcars.com.
Treana Huntley, who lived opposite the family, said the parents’ screams were devastating
Director Amber Rollins is working with families who’ve lost children to the tragic accidents to make technology that could prevent more deaths a requirement in all new vehicles.
Kids and Car Safety, along with parents, sent a letter to Pete Buttigieg, secretary of Department of Transportation, urging him to move forward with the provision that passed in the infrastructure bill last year.
‘Every parent has made mistakes, no matter what it looks like.
‘Sadly, some of the mistakes result in tragedy and none of us expect it,’ Elizabeth Crapo, whose 20-month-old daughter Marah died after being left in a car, told the organization.
‘And all of a sudden, you’re part of this club no one wants to be part of.’
‘I failed in my job as a protector. I failed my child,’ Marah’s father, Austin Crapo said.
‘I promise you nobody could make me feel worse.’