Toddler May Have Died at Illegal Day Care Facility - NBC Chicago

Toddler May Have Died at Illegal Day Care Facility



    Police say woman was running an unlicensed day care facility. (Published Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2011)

    A 2-year-old girl who drowned  Tuesday in an Aurora swimming pool may have been watched by an unlicensed day care provider.

    Authorities are now investigating allegations of neglect after Abigail Holland, of the 300 block of Aster Court in Aurora, was found in the pool.

    Police responded to a home in the 2700 block of Squaw Valley Trail in the Will County section of Aurora at about 10:40 a.m. on a report that a child had fallen into an above-ground swimming pool.

    "As far as we can tell right now, the little girl made her way out of those two doors and up stairs through an unlatched gate, and fell into water," said police spokesman Dan Ferrelli

    The girl was rushed to Rush-Copley Medical Center where she was pronounced dead soon after arrival.

    A 36-year-old woman told police that she had noticed the girl was missing and began looking for her five to 10 minutes before calling 911. She found that a door leading to the garage and another leading to the backyard were open. She then discovered the child in the pool and began administering CPR while her teenage son called 911, the release said.

    At the time of the accident, the woman was the only adult in the house and was caring for seven children ranging in age from 10 months to 9 years, according to police. Three of her own children, ages 5, 9 and 13 were also home.

    Adam Waters lives next door to the home and said groups of kids there are a common sight.

    "We just see kids being dropped off in the morning you know, then we'll come and have dinner outside at night and parents come pick them up," he explained.

    Kristine Beckemeier lives next door to the Holland Family and said little Abigail had just been at her home for another child's birthday a few weeks ago.

    "She meant everything to [her family]. They were very happy to have her. It's kind of terrifying, because you expect when you bring your child to daycare that they're safe," said Beckemeier.

    The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services is investigating allegations of neglect against the woman, who they called a babysitter. The investigation relates to the woman’s three children, as well as Abigail, DCFS spokesman Kendall Marlowe said.

    The agency had an unfounded investigation against the woman relating to multiple children, including Abigail in April of this year, Marlowe said.

    Police do not believe she was licensed to run a day care facility. It was unclear Tuesday evening as to whether she'll face criminal charges.