A 1-year-old boy was pronounced dead after apparently drowning in a baptismal pool at a northwest side church Wednesday afternoon.
The incident happened at the Praise Fellowship Assembly of God church. Juan Cardenas was there for day care.
"For the child to be by himself in the baptism area, it's just too much, too much to handle," said Angel Crittenden, the mother of a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old at the day care.
She did not know something had happened. She just saw the police officers at the church.
Police said they received the 911 call at approximately 1:45 p.m.
Cardenas was found unresponsive and was transported to St. Vincent Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
"I prayed from the moment I heard what was happening. I was just like so scared. They were just saying it wasn't them because they weren't trying to give out any information," said Donna Crittenden, Angel's mother.
Investigators with the homicide and child abuse units believe Cardenas was submerged in two feet of standing water inside a baptismal pool.
A therapist, who had scheduled a session with the child, was the first person to realize he was missing. That is when the search began.
The boy had apparently made it past two doors and up several stairs to the pool.
"That was child neglect for that baby to have drown in that baptism (area), and the classes are way over there, and the baptism (area) is way over here," said Donna Crittenden.
Parent Casandra Watson, the mother of a 2-year old, said there must be an explanation for what happened. Unlike some other parents who said they will be looking for a new day care center, she said she will be coming back.
"I'm pretty sure there's a reasonable explanation as to why that happened I still do trust this church with my child," said Watson.
The day care employs eight people who care for between 30 and 45 kids of various ages. It is unclear what the ratio was Wednesday afternoon.
Investigators do not suspect foul play at this time, but authorities did caution that the investigation is ongoing.
An autopsy will be conducted to determine the exact cause of death.
Would you be able to still send your other children to this daycare after your child died there?
on Feb. 23, 2012 at 5:09 AM