Boy who died in a hot car was allowed to ‘wander off’ from care facility days before

Roost Services, an American Fork program that cares for people with developmental disabilities, has been placed on conditional status by the Department of Human Services.

In the days leading up to the death of an 11-year-old boy in a hot car at an American Fork care facility, officials say staffers allowed the boy to wander off on two separate occasions.

Roost Services is now under conditional status after the Department of Humans Services issued a notice of action Friday. The notice states that Joshua Hancey “wandered off” on July 11 and July 20 before he was found dead inside a car with the door closed and the windows rolled up Wednesday.

After losing track of Hancey on July 20, staff received “training on his behavior plan and the need to be alert at all times to keep him safe,” according to the notice. Hancey had been in the car for up to two hours when he was found, police said.

Roost Services failed to have a staff person trained in first aid and CPR on duty at all times, the notice states. The department also noted that the program violated guidelines for the ratio of direct care staff to clients and “failed to take reasonable measures to ensure client safety.”

The conditional status requires Roost Services to inform the legal guardians of the intellectually disabled children and adults that the program serves of the violations contained in the notice. Roost Services has to post the notice on the homepage of its website and must provide weekly staff schedules and client counts to the Department of Human Services.

The program cannot accept any new clients and must cooperate with the investigation in order to continue to operate.

The American Fork Police Department is conducting an investigation that will determine whether criminal charges will be filed.

Simone Hofeling, who is Hancey’s uncle, said the family is waiting to hear more details from police about the involvement of Roots Services in Hancey’s death. The GoFundMe page the family set up reached more than double its goal of $7,500 for his funeral service before the family took it down.

“We are grateful and appreciative of the overwhelming support we have had,” Hofeling said.