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Investigation continues in case of boy left in hot car in Brandon

A display in memory of two-year-old Jacob Manchego hangs outside BFF Kidz day care center Wednesday afternoon. Manchego died Tuesday after his half-sister went to work at the day care center and left him in her car for more than five hours. [Anastasia Dawson]
Published Mar. 2, 2017

BRANDON — Authorities are still investigating the case of a two-year-old boy who died Tuesday after he was left in a hot SUV for more then five hours.

Fiorella Vanessa Silva-Tello, 21, left Jacob Manchego locked inside her silver Chevy Equinox at 9 a.m. when she went to work at BFF Kidz day care center, according to the Hillsborough Sheriff's Office. It wasn't until 2:30 p.m., when she walked to her car parked 50 feet away, that she discovered Jacob Manchego unresponsive inside. He died later at Brandon Regional Hospital.

Sheriff's Office officials said Wednesday the case remained under investigation with the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner's Office and the Hillsborough State Attorney's Office. No criminal charges have been filed.

A statement taped to the front window of the day care center late Tuesday appeared to indicate the boy was at the day care center regularly.

"With a beautiful smile, he was always willing to help," the statement said. "He greeted every parent at the classroom door."

Day care workers have declined further comment.

Sheriff's Office spokesman Larry McKinnon declined to provide information about what detectives have learned about Silva-Tello's daily routine, how often she brought the boy to her workplace or whether he was enrolled there. The Sheriff's Office has not released the names of the boy's parents.

"For some reason unknown at this time his sister made a tragic mistake," the BFF Kidz statement said. "We feel confident in this statement as an intentional act of cruelty would not be within her means."

The day care described Jacob as a "sweet little boy" who loved to give hugs and had a "remarkable laugh."

Silva-Tello lived with the boy, her mother and other siblings on Village Court, about a mile south of the day care center. A man and woman standing in the driveway of the home turned away reporters Wednesday, saying the family needed "respect and privacy."

Contact Tony Marrero at tmarrero@tampabay.com or (813) 226-3374. Follow @tmarrerotimes.

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