FONTANA, California — Doctors took an 18-month-old off of life support after five days in the hospital. A teething necklace purportedly strangled the toddler during a nap at a Fontana daycare center. That daycare and its affiliated center are now under investigation.
Danielle Morin dropped off her son, Deacon, Wednesday, Oct. 5, at the Marriott Family Childcare. Marriott is one of two in-home daycares operated by Little Impressions Daycare and Learning Facility. When she returned at 5 p.m., she found herself amidst a mother’s worst nightmare as paramedics worked to revive her son. EMTs rushed Deacon to the hospital shortly after she arrived where he spent five days on life support. Morin made the decision to switch off that life support on Oct. 10 after multiple tests confirmed that the boy was brain dead.
The daycare’s employees told Morin her son had choked on his teething necklace during his afternoon nap. However, Morin does not believe these employees are telling the whole story.
“‘Little Impressions daycare/Marriott daycare’ in Fontana do not know the facts and are trying to hide their lack of supervision by stating that Deacon choked on his Amber necklace,” Morin wrote in a social media post. “This is not the case and his medical examinations have shown another story. Deacon was strangled at daycare. Whether or not his beads were involved is still under investigation.”
Both of Little Impressions’s facilities are under investigation by the Fontana Police Department regarding the specifics of Deacon’s death, as well as by the California Department of Social Services, which is the state agency that licenses daycares.
Representatives from the state agency reported that Little Impressions operates under licensing from the umbrella name Jimenez Family Childcare. This group had received numerous citations in 2015 and was placed under probation for three years.
The Fontana investigation comes just over a month after the authorities shut down Coco’s Daycare, a child care facility in Atwater, Calif. Maria Moreta, the owner of the center, is facing accusations related to violating the personal rights of a child. Additionally, the center has faced violations for their failure to keep the facility safe for children due to improper fencing around, no locks on a backyard shed containing fertilizer and insecticides, and a lack of criminal background checks for employees.