Boy, 1, dead after apparent drowning incident at church day care - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Boy, 1, dead after apparent drowning incident at church day care

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INDIANAPOLIS -

A one-year-old boy has died in an apparent drowning incident at a church day care on the Indianapolis northwest side.

Indianapolis Metro Police and medics were called to the Praise and Fellowship Assembly of God Church at around 1:45 pm Wednesday afternoon. That's in the 6700 block of North Michigan Road.

"There were fire trucks and ambulances and police here, so I rushed here quick to get my son," said Gina Letizia.

Police identified the boy as Juan Cardenas Wednesday night.

Sometime Wednesday, the child became separated from caregivers. According to detectives, no one noticed the child missing until a therapist arrived at the day care to work with him.

Workers began to search for him and discovered him in the baptismal pool in the sanctuary. The baptismal pool is about two feet deep.

"When I called her, the lady that runs the day care was crying, like, deliriously. She wouldn't speak to me," said Letizia.

Officers said the boy was unresponsive when they arrived at the scene.

The child was rushed to St. Vincent Hospital in critical condition. He was pronounced dead later Wednesday afternoon.

Investigators are attempting to determine the exact events that led to the child's death. Foul play is not suspected at this point, although police say the investigation is ongoing.

The day care employs approximately eight employees and cares for approximately 30-45 children varying in ages.

Eyewitness News has learned children are moved around the building for different activities throughout the day. According to the Family Social Services Administration, the day care is listed as a ministry, which does not exempt them from regular inspections.

The last FSSA inspection at the day care was just three months ago. According to the administration's website, inspectors found several issues. Several employees were missing criminal history checks, there was no documentation of checking for child abuse or neglect for employees. Also, the day care was listed as having outdated baby formula and mixed grain cereal and eggs past expiration date and there were dirty changing tables and cribs.

But most of the parents who spoke to Eyewitness News have been satisfied with the day care.

"It is a great day care. I mean, all the people are responsible," said Letizia.

However, at least one couple will not be returning.

"I'm (going to) start to find another day care. I talked to my wife today and let her know what is going on," said Thomas Diaz.

Investigators from the IMPD's Homicide and Child Abuse Units were on the scene conducting the investigation, with assistance from Child Protective Services.

Look up day care inspection reports here.

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