Three caregivers at a Terra Linda day care center were arrested on suspicion of involuntary manslaughter late Monday after a coroner's report concluded an infant in their care died of accidental suffocation in bedding.
The 4-month-old baby boy died Oct. 23 of "asphyxia due to suffocation, due to obstruction of the external airway by bedding," according to a statement issued by San Rafael police. "The manner of death was ruled accidental.
"Based on this finding, and the totality of the police investigation, there was probable cause to arrest the three caregivers for involuntary manslaughter."
After the coroner's finding late Monday afternoon, police at the close of business Monday arrested Claudia Gil, 44, owner of the Magic Place Children's Center, 1055 Las Ovejas Ave.; Sandra Del Socoro Alvarado Mendez, 49; and Lorena Huitron Jiminez, 28, all of Richmond. They were booked at Marin County Jail with bail set at $75,000 each.
The incident occurred at 3:33 p.m. Oct. 23, when San Rafael police received a 911 call reporting an infant not breathing at the day care center. Gil, in an earlier interview, had told the Independent Journal that about six children and two adults, including her, were present at the center that day.
Paramedics responded immediately, treating the baby and transporting him to Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Terra Linda, police said. He died at the hospital.
Since then the case has been investigated by the Marin County Sheriff's Office Coroner Division, which conducted a forensic examination and autopsy of the infant, as well as San Rafael police detectives and the state Community Care Licensing Division.
Gil earlier said the day care center has been in operation for eight years. The state Community Care Licensing Division's website lists the day care center as a licensed facility with a 24-child capacity.