Ex-Day Care Worker Convicted In Death Of 1-Year-Old Girl Left In Van On Scorching Day

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A former Nebraska day care worker who mistakenly left a 1-year-old girl in a van for more than five hours on a scorching day has been convicted in her death from hyperthermia.

Ryan Williams, who is 62, was found guilty Thursday of felony negligent child abuse resulting in death, The Omaha World Herald reports.

He testified he was distracted by a 4-year-old who refused to get out of the van when he left Ra’Miyah Worthington inside the vehicle around 9 a.m. on Aug. 21, 2023.

The temperature soared to nearly 100 degrees that day, and video footage from a doorbell camera captures a deep, pained scream when Williams returned to the day care at 2:30 p.m. to prepare for afternoon drop-off.

Ra’Miyah's brother had unbuckled her from her car seat, and Williams found her facedown on the floor in the backseat of the van. She was rushed to a hospital where she was declared dead.

“This finding does not mean that Mr. Williams is a horrible person or a bad person,” Douglas County District Court Judge Peter Bataillon said after reading the verdict. “It means he made a horrible mistake that day.”

Williams will face up to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced in July.

“As of right now, I’m shocked,” Ra’Miyah’s father, Rianna Worthington, said. “And I’m speechless. But we’re happy.”