Boy on field trip left behind at Shedd

July 18, 2011 8:34:42 PM PDT
A 4-year-old boy on a field trip with his summer camp was left behind at the Shedd Aquarium on Friday.

Patricia Daleus says when her sister went to pick up her son, Derrione Collier, last Friday at 5:00 p.m., St. Helena of the Cross School instructors apparently failed to realize they had left him behind at the aquarium four hours earlier.

A spokesperson for the Shedd says security found the boy, made several announcements and looked for the adults he was with before eventually calling police. That's where his frantic mother found him.

"I went blank. A million things going through my mind like what if he went to the wrong person. What if it wasn't a worker that got my son? Lake Michigan is right there. Anything could have happened," she told ABC7. "No one even bothered to check to see if all the kids were accounted for. So apparently one of them was not and it happened to be mine that was left behind."

Derrione has been at the preschool for a year and his mother said she has never had any major issues with them. She says he was looking forward to the field trip. Organizers at St. Helena had told parents they would have one adult on hand for every five kids. Now she is consumed with thoughts about what could have happened.

"Every time I look at him, all I can do is hold him. He even said, 'mommy why do you keep crying and holding me?' Because of the simple fact that you was left. And it's terrifying," she said.

The Archdiocese of Chicago issued a statement saying, "We are deeply concerned that anything like this should happen to a child in our care. We are examining every phase of this breakdown with those running the program."

The Department of Children and Family Services is investigating the case. St. Helena of the Cross says they been in contact with the mother and are very sorry for the situation.

Daleus, however, says she will not be sending her son back to the school.

"He's out. He will not go back," she said.

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