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Police Arrest Three Day Care Workers in Fatal Infant Asphyxiation

Trio of Richmond residents who worked at a Terra Linda day care center were arrested Monday on suspicion of involuntary manslaughter after a coroner's report concluded an infant in their care died Oct. 23 of accidental suffocation.

San Rafael Police arrested three women on suspicion of involuntary manslaughter Monday evening in connection with the death of a four-month-old baby boy at a San Rafael child care facility late last month.

Claudia Gil, the 44-year-old owner of the Magic Place Children’s Center where the incident occurred, as well as employees Sandra Del Socoro Alvarado Mendez, 49, and Lorena Huitron Jiminez, 28, were arrested at the at 1055 Las Ovejas Drive day care center after it closed for the evening Monday. All are Richmond, Calif., residents.

The arrest was predicated on the Marin County Sheriff’s Office Coroner Division's report Monday after a forensic examination and autopsy of the infant, who died Oct. 23 at Kaiser Hospital in San Rafael, where he was taken after he stopped breathing. 

Late Monday afternoon, the Coroner determined that the baby’s cause of death was asphyxia due to suffocation, due to obstruction of the external airway by bedding, police said. The manner of death was ruled accidental.

San Rafael Police detectives and the State of California Community Care Licensing Division conducted concurrent investigations into the circumstances of the infant’s death.

Based on the investigations, police determined there was probable cause to arrest the three caregivers on suspicion of involuntary manslaughter. All three women were booked into Marin County Jail and bail is set at $100,000.

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