2-year-old Halie Brockington was found dead in the back of a Katie's Kids daycare van back in August.
The driver, Amanda Inman, is accused of leaving her there, now the former director of the center is being charged. Petra Rodriguez-Perez was picked up in Lake Worth and taken directly to the Palm Beach County Jail where she is facing a charge of aggravated manslaughter of a child.
Rodriguez has remained tight-lipped since the incident but gave police an account of what happened just hours after Halie was found dead.
For over two hours Rodriguez tells deputies what was happening the day Halie Brockington was found dead.
"Today I was in the two-year-old room because the teacher was off, " she says.
Rodriguez says she didn't know Amanda Inman had returned and Halie was missing. But officers told her during questioning that a teacher told them she had in fact told Rodriguez Halie didn't return with the other children when the van got back.
"She never told me," says Rodriguez.
"Who did she tell?", ask the officer.
Rodriguez stumbles through her answer.
"She, cause she told me she asked um Miss MIss Amanda, "so you guess knew she wasn't there," asks another officer. "I didn't know she wasn't there," says Rodriguez.
But Rodriguez says she did do a head count.
Officer: "If the head count had been done today who did the head count today?"
Rodriguez: "I go around and count how man kids and then I report it to Amanda."
Officer: "So you counted today?"
Rodriguez: "Yes, how many we had in each room."
Officer: "And that should add up with who comes off the bus right?"
Rodriguez: "Well no because see I didn't check the list until afterwards she had already checked the list."
The daycare's policy was that every time a bus left and came back it was to be checked not only by the driver but by Rodriguez. Both women signed off on a log sheet that all the children were accounted for.
An investigation report from the health department shows Rodriguez had in fact signed as the second person verifying that she did a second sweep of the van.
However, in a conversation with another employee she admits she did not check.
"Today of all days I didn't go out there, " Rodriguez says.
The daycare's attorney says Rodriguez holds just as much responsibility for Halie's death as the driver, Amanda Inman and should have been charged months ago.
No bond has been set for Rodriguez. She will face a judge Wednesday morning.
A second arrest has been made in the death of 2-year-old Haile Brockington at a Delray Beach Day Care Center.
According to Delray Beach Police, detectives obtained an arrest warrant today and have charged Katie's Kids Learning Center director, 45-year-old Petra Rodriguez-Perez, with aggravated manslaughter of a child.
Petra was the day care center's director at the time of the death of 2-year-old Haile Brockington on August 5th, 2010.
Rodriguez-Perez was picked up by deputies at her suburban Lake Worth home Tuesday evening and was transported to the Palm Beach County Jail.
She will face a judge to set her bond.
Copyright (c) 2010 The E. W. Scripps Company
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