Family Hopes to Prevent More Tragedies After Toddler’s Death in Houston Day Care Center’s Van

Raymond and Dikeisha Whitlock-Pryer of Houston will forever mourn the loss of their 3-year-old son Raymond Pryer Jr., who was left unattended in a day care center’s van for more than four hours last month. The Pryers have filed a lawsuit against the day care facility, Discovering Me Academy, for negligence.

Raymond Pryer Jr., known as R.J., was found unresponsive in the van July 20 around 7 p.m., when his father arrived to pick him up.  Records indicate the temperature inside the van reached at least 113 degrees. According to police reports, R.J. was on a day care outing with 28 others that day.

During a news conference to announce the lawsuit, the Pryers expressed their sorrow and their mission to prevent future hot car deaths through a foundation called the R.J. Foundation 4 Kids.

“This was a horrible, preventable death, and no child should be put at such risk,” R.J.’s parents said in a statement released by their attorney, Larry Wilson, of Houston’s Lanier Law Firm. “We are devastated, and we are angry. We trusted this day care center with the life of our son, who has now been taken away from us because of their simple, uncaring neglect. Our hope is that this lawsuit makes other operators and regulators take notice and work to prevent anything like this from happening again. That would be the greatest legacy that R.J. could leave this world.”

A Harris County grand jury investigation into the death is pending, while the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services is conducting its own investigation.

For more information, please contact Barry Pound at 800-559- 4534 or


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