Family searching for answers after 21-month-old dies at New Jersey day care

ByEyewitness News via WABC logo
Saturday, June 11, 2022
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A family is searching for answers after a 21-month-old girl tragically died at a daycare center in New Jersey.

CLIFTON, New Jersey (WABC) -- A family is searching for answers after a 21-month-old girl tragically died at a daycare center in New Jersey.

Step by Step Day Care in Clifton says Vanessa Camila Gomez took a nap this past Tuesday, and they couldn't wake her up. Paramedics were called, but Gomez died.

Gomez says her mom dropped off a healthy child and kept up with how Gomez was doing during the day by getting updates and pictures from her teachers on an app called 'Brighwheel.'

By the afternoon, the school called Gomez's mother, Isabel Negrey to say her daughter was unresponsive and getting CPR.

There were questions - and an apparent discrepancy - the Brightwheel logo on June 7 says the 21-month-old was awakened from her nap, and her diaper was changed. However, the next day, the note on the Brightwheel app about the diaper change had disappeared.

Eyewitness News came to Step by Step Day Care and spoke to Diovana Rusin, who says she is the owner. She claims the child never woke up and the note about the diaper was wrong.

"There was no diaper change, the time was wrong," Rusin said.

Attorney Frank Leddy, with Cipriani and Werner represents the child's family.

"Why was she told she woke up and got changed?" Leddy said.

Gomez was rushed to the hospital where she was pronounced dead.

The Passaic County Prosecutor's Office is taking over the case.

According to Clifton Police, an autopsy report is expected to take months, and a family is burying their baby next week.

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