Investigation into death of infant at Eudora daycare nearing completion

Investigators say they soon will send to the Douglas County District Attorney their findings regarding a 9-month-old boy who died nearly six months ago while under the supervision of a Eudora day care.

The Douglas County District Attorney’s Office will use those findings, filed in the form of an affidavit, to make a decision on whether to file criminal charges in the case. Eudora Police Det. Daniel Flick said he hopes to be finished with the affidavit “in the next couple of weeks.”

The license for Sunshine Kids Group Daycare Home, 1307 Chestnut Lane, Eudora, was placed under emergency suspension after a 9-month-old baby under the facility's care died in September.

In the meantime the order suspending the license of the daycare where the infant died, Sunshine Kids Group Daycare Home, 1307 Chestnut Ln., has been finalized.

However, the licensing body, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, has denied the Journal-World’s information requests, citing the ongoing investigation.

In late September 2016 Eudora police arrived at the daycare for a reportedly unresponsive infant, later identified as Oliver Ortiz.

Ortiz was driven by ambulance to Lawrence Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

In November, Flick said a preliminary autopsy led police to believe Ortiz’s death was suspicious. The infant had been injured, though he would not elaborate on the nature of the injuries.

In addition, the manner of Ortiz’s death is listed as suspicious, but is not listed as a homicide, Flick said.

Since then Frontier Forensics, of Kansas City, Kan., the entity that handles Douglas County’s autopsies, has declined to release Ortiz’s autopsy report, again citing the ongoing investigation.

A week after Ortiz’s death the KDHE ordered the daycare to undergo an emergency suspension of its license, according to the department’s online records. The reason justifying the suspension said only “child care practices.”

Previously the day care’s license was suspended with a note on the KDHE website saying the order was under appeal and awaiting hearing. On Tuesday, however, the note read “Appeal not filed order is final.”

A representative of the daycare previously declined to comment about the case.