SUNRISE -- There were things that Jordan Coleman's day care playmates remembered about the day he died -- the day the 4-year-old was left in a sweltering SUV.
A 3-year-old girl recalled seeing Jordan, of Sunrise, sleeping in the vehicle by himself while she and other children were taken to a Tamarac apartment to nap. A 5-year-old boy remembered waking up from a nap and seeing that Coleman still remained in the vehicle hours later. They remembered seeing adults trying to revive the boy.
Jordan, whose body temperature hit 108 degrees, died of a heat stroke last year, records show.
The children's statements were contained in newly released documents by the Broward State Attorney's Office in response to a public records request. The documents, which once were sealed files, help explain why prosecutors brought criminal charges against the operator of the day care Jordan attended, as well as two other defendants.
"It's been a year," Jordan's grandmother, Melanie James, said Friday. "And it doesn't hurt any less."
She said it has "been very, very difficult" to no longer have her grandson, and said she still has "a lot of anger, rage that something like this could take place."
Jordan was left in the care of 3C's Day Academy, a home-based day care in Sunrise, on Aug. 1, 2012, when things went horribly wrong, records show. James said Jordan had just started attending the day care a week earlier.
The day care operator's daughter, Camille Gordon, now 21, and a second day care counselor, Paris Ward, now 20, took Jordan and seven other children away from the day care in an attempt to avoid day care inspectors and skirt licensed capacity requirements, authorities said.
Gordon and Ward later would tell detectives they were responsible for the care of the children, 7 months old to 5 years old, court documents show.
The children, placed in a 2002 Toyota Sequoia, were driven to Lauderdale Lakes Community Pool, then driven to an apartment at the Versailles Gardens complex in Tamarac, about seven miles away from the day care, records show.
Once there, Jordan was left in the vehicle for more than two and a half hours in the parking lot of the apartment complex, the records show. Authorities said it was about 90 degrees that summer afternoon.
It is unknown whether Jordan's child friends will testify in court. But in the documents, the children's accounts were specific in describing Jordan that day. They gave investigators statements, which were recorded, a day after the boy died.
A 3-year-old girl told detectives that the children had gone swimming, and then the group got ready for nap time. She said "Jo Jo" -- as Jordan was known -- slept in the vehicle by himself, the documents show.
A 5-year-old boy recalled being taken into the apartment, where he slept on a blanket placed on the floor, records show. He said that when he awoke, he still saw that Jordan was asleep in the vehicle.
Ward called 911 and reported an unconscious student in the parking lot, an arrest warrant said. She had found him in the vehicle and told Gordon that "Jordan collapsed," it said.
When rescuers arrived, Gordon was performing CPR on the boy, the warrant said.
A Tamarac fire captain placed ice packs on Jordan's body, but there was no heartbeat. Jordan was taken to Coral Springs Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
In September last year, Ward, Gordon and Gordon's mother, Cecily Roberts, 44, all were arrested on charges of aggravated manslaughter in Jordan's death, records show.
Additionally, Roberts, who ran 3C's Day Academy, was charged with felony child care misrepresentation, stemming from a state law meant to hold day care operators accountable for misrepresenting the level of care offered at their facilities.
All three women were questioned by authorities about how Jordan was left in the SUV.
Ward said that Jordan had rubbed his face as she parked the vehicle, and it appeared to her that he was waking up, a warrant said. But when the group moved from the SUV into the apartment, there was no "roll call" conducted to account for everyone, Ward and Gordon told detectives.
On Oct. 18 this year, Ward, Gordon and Roberts all are scheduled to make court appearances. The cases are pending, with depositions scheduled for next month.
"We're in the early, early stages of a huge case," said Roberts' attorney, Gary Ostrow. "This case is six months to a year away from trial."
Ostrow said that once the trial approaches, he would like Roberts to be tried separately from Gordon and Ward, saying that Roberts wasn't at the Tamarac apartment complex when Jordan was found.
"My client, I believe, is the least culpable," he said. "My client wasn't even there at the time the circumstance arose."
A Broward court order prohibits Roberts from working in a child care facility.
When Jordan died, Roberts had also been operating a day care facility in Brooklyn, according to a state-issued license. She is no longer licensed to operate any child care program in New York, either, the state's Office of Children & Family Services said.
The Sunrise home where 3C's operated, in the 2100 block of Northwest 72nd Terrace, is under foreclosure and now for sale.
Ostrow declined to offer Robert's current job, only to say "she's gainfully employed." He called her a "fighter" and "survivor."
Listed attorneys for Ward and Gordon could not be reached for comment despite attempts by phone and email.
Gordon was arrested on a theft charge in May and, consequently, a judge revoked her bond for the manslaughter charge. She is currently in jail and being held without bond. Ward could not be reached for comment despite a phone message left at a listed number for her mother's residence, where she now lives, according to court records.
Attorney Stuart Grossman, who is representing Jordan's family in a wrongful-death lawsuit against 3C's, said the day care was not insured at the time of Jordan's death. That lawsuit, however, is still pending, he said.
Jordan's family said it has found some solace in a safety-oriented law passed by Broward County in response to Jordan's death. The county law requires all child care centers to install safety alarms in their vehicles.
James, Jordan's maternal grandmother, criticized state legislators for not passing a similar day-care-vehicle law statewide. A state bill was proposed during two consecutive years, but went nowhere.
"Nobody wants to do anything until a child is dead," she said.
Jordan's family had trusted 3C's because Jordan's half-brother and another child relative had also attended the day care, court documents show.
"Jordan was only supposed to be in day care for 12 days, and he died on the seventh day," James said. "It's been a year and it doesn't hurt any less."
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