RALEIGH, N.C. (CBS Local) — A 10-month-old baby boy choked on a pine cone and died at a North Carolina day care on Wednesday, authorities said.
The baby, identified as Areon Ellington, found the pine cone in the yard outside A Hug A Day Daycare in southeast Raleigh, CBS affiliate WNCN reported. Police said it happened during the day, but wouldn’t say exactly when or where.
“I see people coming early in the morning, dropping the kids off, picking the kids up,” said Mikea Nash, who lives next door. “I want to say my condolences to the family. I’m very sorry.”
The little boy’s grandmother, Helana Harrison, told WRAL she had dropped him off at the day care Wednesday morning.
“He was about to have his one year old birthday,” she said. “My grand baby is gone, somebody needs to be responsible for what happened to him.
Several violations were documented at the licensed day care in January by the state Department of Health and Human Services, WNCN reported. The violations included having more than five children present and not showing proof that infants were visually checked every 15 minutes while sleeping.
DHHS records show those violations were corrected during a follow-up visit in February.
WNCN reached out to the day care, but did not get a response.