Three day care providers were arrested Tuesday on suspicion of child endangerment following an investigation into the death of a Fontana infant.
Sagan Marriott, 27, Rebecca Lutz, 29, and Deborah Jimenez, 52, were detained around 10 a.m. in connection with the Oct. 5 death of 18-month-old Deacon Morin while under their care at Marriott Family Child Care, according to a press release from the Fontana Police Department.
During their investigation, detectives discovered the child was put down for a nap with an amber-beaded necklace around his neck, the statement said. Furthermore, authorities allege emergency responders were not immediately called when Morin was later found unresponsive and not breathing; instead, Marriott called Lutz and Jimenez to come to the facility, they said.
After the two arrived the infant was eventually transported to a nearby hospital, officials said, where he died five days later.
The day care center was also operating “grossly over capacity” on the day of the incident, police said, and only permitted to care for at most four infants at once by the state Department of Community Care Licensing. That day, six infants and at least 12 other children were at the facility, exceeding its licensed amount by more than four times, authorities said.
Jimenez owned a day care business, alternately called Little Impressions Child Care or Jimenez Family Child Care, which employed Marriott and Lutz, according to investigators. Jimenez “regularly and knowingly sent children to the Marriott facility, exceeding their maximum limits,” detectives said.
The official cause of infant Morin’s death is still under investigation by the San Bernardino County Coroner’s office. A fundraising page has been set up in his memory.
Anyone with information related to the case is asked to contact Detective Guith at 909-350-7723.