EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

January 12, 2013

Mom, missing child, 2, reunited

Toddler picked up at day care, then possibly forgotten by driver on bus

By Mark E. Vogler

---- — LAWRENCE — Police are investigating how a bus driver apparently forgot to drop off a 2-year-old child at home after picking him up from a day care center yesterday.

Diane Bermudez told police that her son Yamil usually gets dropped off at her Park Street home by 4:15 p.m., but never showed up.

An employee at the Child Care Center at 581 Andover St. confirmed that the child had been placed on a bus operated by Transerve Inc., located at 59 State St., yesterday afternoon.

First Bermudez called the day care at 4:25 p.m., and they told her to call Transerve, the Lawrence bus company that handles the center’s transportation. She called the Transerve immediately, and could not get anyone on the phone.

She continued to call the company, and was able to reach someone on her fourth try. However, a representative of the company initially told her that all of the buses were parked and cleared, and her child was not on them. After about an hour, someone from Transerve called Bermudez back to report that her child had been found.

The same bus that had picked the child up, drove him back to the Child Care Center, where he was reunited with his mother, according to police. They are investigating a complaint involving possible child endangerment allegations, likely against the driver and the company.

“The mother said the child was shaking, covered with vomit and had a urine-filled diaper and was sleeping,” Lawrence police Chief John Romero said in an interview last night.

It appears the child was left alone on the bus for at least an hour.

“We know the child was placed on the bus, but was never delivered home. We’ve got a lot of questions right now. There very well could be charges in connection with this investigation as well,” the chief said.

“It appears the child may have been left on the bus and forgotten, but we haven’t established that yet. The detectives are trying to locate the bus company and sort this out,” he said.

Child Care Center staff seemed to have done their job in making sure the child was put on the bus, according to police.

The child’s grandmother took him to Holy Family Hospital, where he was being evaluated last night, according to police. There was no report on his condition as of press time.

Later in the evening, the owner of Transerve called Bermudez and accused her of exaggerating the situation to police and the day care, according to police.