Monday, May 19, 2008

Unauthorized day care in question after death (Jackson Hole News and Guide)

Unauthorized day care in question after death
By Amanda H. Miller, Jackson Hole, Wyoming
May 19, 2008

The death of an 11-month-old baby Wednesday drew police scrutiny of an unauthorized home day-care operation.

With a coroner’s report still pending, Jackson police are holding off on an investigation of the unauthorized home day care where the baby girl died.

Emergency medical personnel responded to a call at The Timbers, an apartment complex on Gregory Lane, about 1:30 p.m. when someone reported a baby had stopped breathing.

When police arrived, they discovered the apartment was being used as a day-care facility and that one woman was caring for 10 children, including the baby. Officers reported the day-care operation to the Department of Family Services, Officer Russ Ruschel said.

Teton County Coroner Bob Campbell performed an autopsy Thursday and may have a report today, Ruschel said.

Ruschel said the department will wait until it knows the cause of death before investigating any wrongdoing on the part of the day-care operator. There was no preliminary evidence of foul play, Jackson Police Chief Dan Zivcovich said.

When the girl died, her father, Jose Luis Cabellero, was being detained at Teton County Jail.

Cabellero, 34, was arrested two days earlier by the Wyoming Highway Patrol on suspicion of driving without a valid license, according to court records.

The jail staff called Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Idaho Falls, Idaho, and ICE instructed the staff to hold Cabellero in Teton County Jail until agents could pick him up, Teton County Sheriff Bob Zimmer said.

But the jail had not yet received formal paperwork from ICE when news arrived about Cabellero’s daughter.

Zimmer said he asked two deputies to take Cabellero to the hospital to be with his wife and daughter.

When Zimmer saw the father with his wife and deceased daughter, he said he made the call to release Cabellero.

“Law enforcement is about doing the right things for the right reasons,” Zimmer said. “We did the right thing.”

The baby’s mother cried in the hospital over the loss of her daughter, said Father Philip Vanderlin of Our Lady of the Mountains Catholic Church, who was with the family Wednesday.

“She cried tears for the grief that brought,” Vanderlin said, “and tears for the added grief because they were going to deport her husband.”

A funeral will be at 5 p.m. today at Our Lady of the Mountains.

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