Principal: Stepmother of boy who died in hot SUV quits job after receiving death threats

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Teachers at a small private school said they're trying to come to terms with the death of a 4-year-old boy who was left in a hot SUV near the school.

Elite Preparatory Academy Principal Hong Steele said Logan Starling's stepmother quit her job at the school after receiving multiple death threats made by phone, by email and on social media.

She said threats have also been made against the school since the pre-K student's death Friday.

"We still are heartbroken," Steele said. "It feels like we're all in a dream."

She said many of her staff members have sought counseling.

"He had unconditional love," Steele said. "It's hard for us to talk about this, because he was everything to us. This is a horrific accident, and we can't make sense of it."

She said Logan's teacher didn't question marking him absent Friday, because he had been out sick Thursday.

When Logan's teacher saw his stepmother at dismissal, she mentioned that she had missed having him in class.

Logan's stepmother panicked, ran to her SUV and collapsed, Steele said.

The Florida Department of Children and Families said it is still investigating how the boy was left in the vehicle in which he rode to school with two adults and five siblings.

The agency said it has a history with the family, but it wouldn't elaborate.






"She loved not only her children, but she loved everybody's children," Steele said of Logan's stepmother, who was hired because she was such a dependable volunteer.

She said the woman doesn't deserve to have threats made against her.

"It's just hate of human mistakes," Steele said. "It's hate towards her, and it's sad, because that's not what Logan would have wanted. It's not who Logan was."

She said she feels both grief and guilt, because she typically greets each student as they arrive to school. But Friday morning, she received a phone call and was unable to ask where Logan was when his family arrived to school.