Mother of child killed in hot car files lawsuit

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PORTALES, N.M. (KRQE) – The mother of a one-year-old that was killed after being left in a hot car by two daycare workers has filed a lawsuit against the state.

Maliyah Jones was killed in July of 2017 while at the Taylors’ Daycare in Portales. Her mother says Maliyah’s death could’ve been prevented had the state properly trained the daycare employees.

Maliyah and another one-year-old, Aubriauna Loya, were both left in a hot car for nearly three hours that day. Sandi and Mary Taylor, who operated Taylor Lots Daycare, had taken a group of kids to the park that day, and when they returned, forgot the two children inside the car.

The women didn’t realize the girls were in the car until they came back to get some paperwork and found them.

Now Erika Tafoya, Maliyah’s mother, has filed this lawsuit against the daycare, the state’s Human Services Department, and CYFD. Tafoya says, had the state strictly enforced the rules at Taylor Lots Daycare, her daughter would still be alive. “You just think that at daycares and schools, stuff like that, they’re doing what they’re supposed to. In this case, they weren’t,” Tafoya says.

The women of Taylor Lots Daycare were sentenced back in March. Mary Taylor is serving 36 years, while Sandi was sentenced to 30 years. The women tried to appeal and wanted to be released, pending the results of the appeal, but a district court judge ruled against it.

Both the Human Services Department and CYFD would not comment on the lawsuit.

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