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Police: Toddler found unresponsive at Happy Acres Ranch day care dies at hospital

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A 13-month-old boy who was found unresponsive Tuesday at Happy Acres Ranch day care was rushed to a hospital and later died, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

Sgt. Steve Rudlaff with the Sheriff’s Office said the child had been put down for a nap at about 12:30 p.m. When an employee of the day care went to check on the boy at about 2:30 p.m., the child was unresponsive.

Rudlaff said the toddler rushed to Memorial Hospital, where he died. Rudlaff said foul play is not suspected in the child’s death, and that there is not a criminal investigation.

The Department of Children and Families was sent to the day care, which records show has been open since 1953.

Officers were talking with the toddler’s parents about the child’s medical history. Rudlaff said the child had been at the day care for about a month.

The medical examiner will determine the cause of death.

Happy Acres said it planned to reopen Wednesday. The day care was listed as compliant during DCF inspections in 2019 on Jan. 22, May 24 and Sept. 27.

A statement from the day care reads:

“Our heartfelt condolences go out to the parents of one of our children who was transported to the hospital this (Tuesday) afternoon. A situation like this is devastating for everyone involved, and we respectfully ask for privacy on behalf of the family at this time. Happy Acres has a long history of dedicated and compassionate care for our children. We are fully cooperating with the Department of Children and Families, but we will not be able to provide any further comment on this matter at this time.”


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