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Aurora police, coroner investigate death of small child being cared for at suspected unlicensed daycare

Ruling on the cause of death is awaiting additional tests, which could take several weeks.

AURORA, Colo. — Aurora police are investigating the death of a 4-month-old child last week at a home suspected of being used as an unlicensed daycare, 9Wants to Know has learned.

The name of the child, who was taken to a hospital from a home in the 26700 block of East Cedar Avenue, has not been released.

According to Madlynn Ruble, spokeswoman for the state's Office of Early Childhood, the woman operating the facility was caring for eight children from five different families. 

The child showed no signs of trauma, according to the Arapahoe County Coroner’s Office. However, the cause of death is pending follow-up testing – a process that could take eight to 10 weeks.

>Video above: State human services dept. reviewing protocol of unlicensed, illegal day cares

Colorado’s Office of Early Childhood served a warning letter on the woman suspected of operating the day care. Colorado law allows child care providers to operate without a license in only two narrowly defined situations:

  • They can care for up to four unrelated children as long as no more than two of them are under the age of 2.
  • They can care for children from their own family and children from one other family who are siblings.

If they don’t meet one of those two situations, they must be licensed.

Aurora police responded to the home about 11:40 a.m. Thursday, May 13 after a report of an unresponsive child, according to Agent Matthew Longshore, a department spokesman.

The child died a short time later at a hospital.

The investigation remains active, Longshore said.

"We are heartbroken and appalled that a Colorado child has died in an illegal unlicensed child care facility in our state," said Ruble, the spokeswoman for the Office of Early Childhood. "We encourage parents to enroll their children in licensed child care facilities because we know that is the best and safest option for families as they have to obey strict health and safety requirements per state guidelines."

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