When Danielle Sanchez dropped off her nearly 2-year-old son Leonardo Thursday at the West Jordan Child Center in West Jordan, Utah, she never imaged it would be the last time she'd see him alive.
According to police, Leonardo was killed when an employee at the day care center sat on a bean bag chair the toddler had crawled under. Leonardo suffocated to death.
Sanchez told Fox 13 in Salt Lake City that her son was always the life of the party, and she can’t believe she won’t ever tuck him in again.
"It's a tragedy. It's a tragedy what happened," Sanchez told Fox 13. "It's rough, because you don't know when the last time is you are going to hold your child."
Video footage from the day care center reportedly shows Leonardo, who would have turned 2 on Sept. 17, playing with the bean bag chair at about noon and then crawling underneath it.
Despite CPR at the scene and being rushed to Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, the boy could not be revived, according to police accounts.
Sargeant Joe Monson, of the West Jordan Police Department, told Fox News Latino that the department is still investigating, waiting for final results and will report its findings to the District Attorney’s office. At first blush, however, “It appears to be a tragic accident,” Monson said.
The West Jordan Child Center released a statement reading, “We regret deeply the tragic death of a young toddler at our day care facility. No words adequately describe the depth of the sorrow we feel. And, of course, we do not pretend to understand how devastating this is for the family. We know the family well, we grieve with them and we pray that God will provide them the comfort and peace they inevitably will need.”
Tom Hudachko, Director of Communications with the Utah Department of Health, told Fox News Latino that within the last year, his office has followed up on two complaints at the childcare facility.
On a routine inspection in April 2015, the department found a gap in a chain link fence around the property – it was wider than the legal 5 inches.
And in a July 2015 complaint, the department issued a finding that the day care center didn’t have adequate supervision of children on a patio.
“Those are minor technical findings. We gave the facility 30 days to submit a corrective plan of action, and that happened in both cases,” Hudachko said.
A GoFundMe page has been set up for the Sanchez family.
It is expected that the family will hold the toddler’s funeral on his birthday and has asked guests to bring toys that they will donate to a local children’s hospital.