NASHUA, N.H. (CBS) – Investigators say, so far, there is no evidence of foul play in the death of a 15-month-old boy at an unlicensed day care in Nashua, New Hampshire.
Police were called to a home on Ash Street Wednesday afternoon and found the toddler “not breathing, unresponsive and bluish-grayish in color,” according to Nashua Police Lt. Kerry Baxter.
When first responders arrived the young boy was in the arms of an adult.
“They didn’t have much to say. They were just panicked over the fact the child was unresponsive and not breathing and obviously in distress,” Baxter told WBZ-TV Friday.
The child was rushed to the hospital but died a short time later.
“It does not appear, based on evidence that we have and the autopsy results that there’s anything suspicious about this. There’s no trauma to the child,” said Baxter.
The cause of death is still under investigation.
Police said a number of other kids were inside looking on as all of this was unfolding Wednesday. Their ages ranged from 7 months to 14 years old. Several of them were the homeowners’ children, but police estimated 4 or 5 of them were not.
That led investigators to conclude the home was operating as a day care, identified as “The Kinder Garden” on Facebook.
“We have confirmed with the child care licensing unit up at the state that it does not have a license to operate a day care and based on the information that we have, it’s pretty evident they were running a day care business out of there,” Baker told WBZ.
The Department of Health and Human Services said in a statement that The Kinder Garden has no current license, and there is no record of the facility every applied for a license.
A letter was immediately sent to the facility to cease operations.
In 2013, DHHS officials received an anonymous complaint about The Kinder Garden, alleging that the facility was carding for more than three children in addition to the owner’s children.
Investigators made unannounced visits three times in four weeks, there was no evidence of childcare being provided.
No complaints were received after 2013.
A record of a founded complaint exists from 2008, but electronic records are not available before 2009. DHHS officials said paper records are kept for four years.
“When a complaint is founded, meaning there was evidence of unlawful behavior, DHHS policy is to issue a letter requiring ceasing of operations and conduct an unannounced follow up investigation. That is likely what occurred in 2008,” DHHS said in a statement.
“This is a tragic event and DHHS is closely following the Nashua Police Department’s investigation and will take additional action as appropriate.”
No other information is available at this point in the investigation.