WEST VALLEY CITY — Police booked a 17-year-old teenager into the Salt Lake Valley Detention Center after a 21-month-old boy died in his care.
West Valley City police responded to 4635 S. 2890 West just after noon on Tuesday following a report of an unconscious child, according to West Valley City police spokeswoman Roxeanne Vainuku.
The child was airlifted to a hospital but did not survive and was later identified as Jaycieion Sanchez.
Officers noticed the baby had multiple visible injuries that were not consistent with the baby sitter's statements surrounding the circumstances of the child's death, Vainuku said.
The 17-year-old had been caring for the baby and the baby's younger sibling in the children's home. The teen had cared for the children before, according to Vainuku. The younger sibling did not appear to have any injuries.
After obtaining a warrant, investigators searched the home. The baby sitter, the baby's mother and grandmother were questioned by police. The teen was arrested for investigation of child abuse homicide. The circumstances surrounding the child's death are still unknown.
Jaycieion's mother, Gena Sanchez, wants people to know the kind of kid her 21-month old son was.
"He was a momma's boy and he always followed me everywhere," she said. "He was the happiest baby ever. You would ask him a question, like, ‘Did you miss me?’ and he was like 'Yeah!' I can still hear it.”
Sanchez told KSL she’ll never forget her son.
"Instead of having a 2-year old birthday for my son, now I need to bury him," she said. “Keep your kids close because you never know."
Vainuku encourages parents to contact the Department of Child and Family Services if they are having difficulty finding child care.
"We understand that it is difficult to find appropriate child care but it is something worth taking into very, very careful consideration," she said.
Authorities are working with the Utah Division of Child and Family Services to investigate the case.
A GoFundMe page* has been set up by the child's family to help cover funeral expenses.
Contributing: Alex Cabrero, KSL TV; Xoel Cardenas, KSL.com
*KSL.com does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisors and otherwise proceed at your own risk.
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