3-year-old girl dies mysteriously after being put down for a nap at daycare

Kristine Solomon
Style and Beauty Writer
Photo: NBC

A family in Malverne, N.Y., is “heartbroken and seeking answers” after a 3-year-old girl was put down for a nap at daycare and never woke up.

Police are investigating the mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of Isabella Hagenlocher at Grace Lutheran Church and School daycare on Friday. According to the school’s pastor, Rev. A. David Anglada, the child was unresponsive when teachers tried to wake her from her nap, so they called the school nurse and 911. He told NBC New York that he believes the nurse performed CPR on Hagenlocher while waiting for paramedics to arrive.

First responders reportedly intubated the child before rushing her to New York University’s Winthrop hospital in Mineola, N.Y., where she was placed on life support. She never regained consciousness and was declared brain dead before expiring on Monday morning, NBC reports. The death remains a mystery because the little girl had no known medical issues and was “vibrant, healthy and happy,” said relatives.

On Tuesday, the family told NBC that a doctor’s review of Isabella‘s brain scan revealed the girl had been deprived of oxygen for about 25 minutes. She had been put down for what was supposed to be an hourlong nap at 11:30 a.m., the teacher reported, but the girl was checked on 80 minutes later. Yahoo Lifestyle has contacted Grace Lutheran Church and School to find out more about what could have led to the oxygen deprivation and will update this story when we hear back.

In the meantime, the family’s only recourse is an autopsy, which is scheduled for Tuesday. Her relatives hope it will demystify the cause of the toddler’s death. A spokesperson for the Nassau County police department confirmed that its homicide squad is investigating the incident for foul play but declined to comment on the investigation.

Parents picking up their children from the school were devastated by the news of the child’s death and said the principal told them to pray for her. “My heart goes out to them,” Anthony Mastrande, a father, told NBC. “This is horrible.”

Grace Lutheran daycare is not licensed by the New York State Office of Children and Family Services, a spokesperson told NBC, because OCFS licensing is not required by state law for nursery schools caring for children ages 3 or older. 

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