Angel was born on July 5, 2013 weighing 7lbs. 5oz. She was my youngest and 4th baby girl. Between myself and her big sisters, she was always swaddled and adored. Angel couldn’t cry long enough before someone was there to wait on her, hand and foot. I held her in my arms when I cleaned up or if I was sitting at my computer desk. I just couldn’t put my baby down.
Angel was very smart and had good understanding. I would talk to her and sing to her all of the time! She moved pretty fast as she reached each milestone. I believe she was anxious to be a big girl so that she could play with her big sisters. She started walking before her first birthday and she hardly talked because she was so spoiled that I never gave her the chance to. She didn’t cry very long because I was always right there. As Angel transitioned from a baby to a toddler, she wanted to do things on her own. It was difficult for me at first but I realized she just wanted to keep up with her sisters. We were home together all day every day until I landed my dream job at the courthouse. It was then that I decided to put Angel in daycare.
On June 5, 2015 my life changed forever! I had gotten off early that day and I decided to go home and pick up Angel at my usual time, which was 4:30 pm. Around 3:50 pm I received a phone call from the owner of the daycare. She said, “Angel fainted, she just passed out.” She said it so calm, I didn’t think anything was wrong. I then received a phone call from the fire department saying Angel had been “injured” and I needed to go to the hospital right away. I asked if Angel was breathing and they told me they didn’t know. Then, the owner of the daycare called again to tell me Angel was being transported to the hospital. I asked if Angel was still breathing and the owner of the daycare said, “I don’t know, I didn’t ask.”
Once I arrived at the hospital, I saw 2 security guards approaching and I was put into a separate room and then they closed the door. As soon as I sat down, the doctor walked in. I stood up immediately and I asked what’s going on, where’s Angel. The doctor paused for a second and said, “I’m sorry.” The story was that Angel vomited, had a seizure and fainted while she was playing outside. That was the beginning of a web of lies surrounding her death. Angel arrived at the hospital wearing a clean diaper with no shoes on her feet. The doctors and detectives asked me several times if Angel had health issues or any history of seizures. Around midnight that night is when I learned that Angel died inside the daycare van. She was found in the front passenger seat. Angel was cleaned up before they took her body to the fire department, along with the crime scene.
I did not learn the truth about what actually happened to Angel until February of 2019. Angel was not supposed to be on the van in the first place. She didn’t die at the daycare and she didn’t crawl to the front seat of the van as was reported. The daycare was operating illegally. The daycare was listed on the Department of Education’s website, in addition to a few others, as a legal operating facility. It wasn’t until Angel died that the daycare was removed from the state’s website. I’ve been looking and asking for her belongings since she passed. I finally found Angel’s shoes in the 4th crime scenes photo, but will probably never get them back.
It’s been 4 years and I can still see Angel laying in the hospital bed, eyes half opened, cold and lifeless. I cried so hard that my face and body ached for weeks. I remember my eyes and my nose burned from the smell of embalming fluid as I wept over her body every day until I had to bury her. No matter how many days or years go by, it still feels like it happened yesterday. I never got the chance to hear Angel talk, I didn’t get the chance to finish potty training her and she didn’t get the chance to go to school like her big sisters. I couldn’t hold Angel in my arms one last time because an autopsy had to be performed in order to find out what happened to her. I had to cancel Angel’s 2nd birthday party and pay for a funeral instead.
I’ve spent the last 4 years digging into her case for the truth only to find out that everyone involved in this case “covered up and lied” to me about what happened to my baby.
Angel died as a result of negligence, the lack of daycare oversight and outdated technology. My heart is broken forever after I lost Angel.
Every summer, more and more children die. Hot car deaths are preventable and I am a proud supporter of the HOT CARS Act of 2019, which calls for technology that can detect the presence of a child and alert the driver and bystanders that a child is in danger. This technology would have saved my baby’s life. This technology is readily available and should be included as standard equipment in ALL vehicles.
-Joy C. Green, mother of Angel Green