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Day before boy's death in hot car, staff at center told to be 'alert' for his safety

Joshua hancey 01.jpg
A day before 11-year-old Josh Hancey died in a hot car outside Roost Services for the disabled in American Fork, he wandered from the center — the second time in less than two weeks — and staff members were advised to be alert for his safety, 2News has learned. (Photo: Courtesy Hancey family)

A day before 11-year-old Josh Hancey died in a hot car outside Roost Services for the disabled in American Fork, he wandered from the center — the second time in less than two weeks — and staff members were advised to be alert for his safety.

That’s according to a "Notice of Agency Action" filed by the Utah Department of Human Services, signed by an assistant attorney general and the department’s licensing investigations manager.

The notice noted Josh’s death on July 21, but also outlined what had occurred prior.

“Additionally, on 7/11/2021 and 7/20/2021, the same client wandered off,” the notice said. “After the 7/20/2021 incident, Licensee indicated it provided training to staff on the client’s behavior plan and the need to be alert at all times to keep him safe.”

MORE: State takes immediate action to limit license of program where Utah boy died in hot car

2News reached out by phone, text and email to a person identified by the state as a point of contact for Roost Services, but did not hear back on Friday.

“We want to act swiftly, because this is such a tragic situation, that we want answers too,” said Heather Barnum, spokeswoman for state Human Services.

The agency has put Roost under a "conditional license." The center is required to file public notices of the action, and it cannot accept new clients for the time being.

The state said Roost was first licensed in 2018, and it had no regulatory sanctions until now.

American Fork police said Josh was in the closed car for close to two hours, and that the vehicle had been used by a center staff member to bring him to the facility.

Barnum said the Human Services investigation will also touch on “what can we do better in the future, so that we can hopefully prevent these tragedies from happening.”