KILLEEN, Texas - A father is grieving the loss of his child who died at McLane Children's Hospital last weekend after being found not breathing but resuscitated at an illegal daycare in the 5300 block of Sydney Harbour Court in Killeen.
They hope their story will raise awareness about the importance of vetting child care providers after they learned the particular in-home daycare they sent their child to wasn’t licensed.
Father Jeronte Reed said his baby boy Jaxson was a happy, friendly child who loved music and French fries. He looked forward to creating memories with his son, but their time together was cut short.
Killeen Police found Jaxson on May 12 around 1:02 p.m. after officers said the woman who was running the in-home unlicensed daycare out of her residence called 911 to claim she left the child sleeping in his car seat unattended and he ended up strangled by the safety strap.
"She stated that she returned when she heard another child crying and found the victim unconscious and not breathing, with one of the safety straps around his neck," Killeen Police Commander Alex Gearhart said.
As of Friday morning, no arrests had been made. But, detectives had forwarded the case to the Bell County District Attorney's Office for prosecutors to review.
“It’s hard because we didn’t expect it,” Reed said. “It all happened so fast so we didn’t know how to process everything.”
The family said Jaxson has been in the hospital since May, but they said their biggest fear turned to reality when Jaxson died early Saturday morning.
“I never would’ve imagined it would end like this,” he said. “Just watching him go like that was the hardest thing for us.”
A representative for Texas Department of Family Services said the childcare provider in this case did not have a permit or child care license. In response, the department implemented a safety plan restricting this provider from caring for any children outside of their own family moving forward. Reed hopes sharing his story will encourage parents to check out providers before leaving them with your child.
“Do your research make sure you know who has your child make sure you know what’s going on with your child at all times I wouldn’t wish this on anyone,” Reed said.
The family is now in the process of making funeral arrangements which are likely to be held in New Orleans.
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