Former Alabama daycare worker who left 5-year-old child in hot van sentenced in child’s death

Published 5:36 am Friday, February 25, 2022

The former Alabama daycare worker who left a five-year-old in a hot van for several hours then dumped his body on the side of the road was sentenced to 20 years in state prison Thursday.

Valarie Patterson received the maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for the death of Kamden Johnson, who was left in a daycare vehicle in August 2017 — on a day where temperatures reached 92 degrees.

Patterson pleaded guilty to manslaughter in November.

Kamden’s body was found a few miles away from the daycare on the side Demetropolis Road. His body was found by a group of children who were walking home from school that day.

Investigators believe Patterson mistakenly left Johnson in the daycare van in the morning and then when she went to pick children up from school that afternoon, she found his Johnson dead inside. Officials say Patterson then decided to dump the body on the side of the road.