State closes investigation into death of Jacksonville toddler

Malik Baker died Sept. 21, a day after he was found unresponsive at day care

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Florida Department of Children and Families has ruled that inadequate supervision did not contribute to the death of a toddler found unconscious last year at a Jacksonville day care.

The child welfare agency wrapped up its investigation into 15-month-old Malik Baker’s death April 2. It found no evidence of abuse or neglect at the hands of staff at Tip Top 24 Hour Learning Center.

Baker died in September 2018 at Wolfson Children’s Hospital, where he was taken after paramedics discovered the boy unresponsive at the day care facility on Blanding Boulevard.

An autopsy found the child’s cause and manner of death were undetermined. It determined there was no visible trauma to the boy’s body.

The medical examiner concluded that the child’s death was not from choking as was initially thought, based on what caregivers told first responders when they arrived at the facility Sept. 20.

Paramedics called to the day care about 11:15 a.m. that day found the boy lying on a table without a pulse. They were told the child was seen chewing on a toy block, but found his airway was clear.

Baker was taken to the hospital, where he died the next day despite life-saving efforts.

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office closed its investigation March 19 after ruling the death undetermined. According to the DCF report, there was no further law enforcement action taken in the case.

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