MESA, Ariz. — Police are investigating the death of an infant boy at an in-home daycare in Mesa, Arizona.
His mom says the 19-month-old died after choking on a sandwich a few weeks ago.
“I never expected to have to bury my 19-month-old child,” said Star Jones.
Memories of Jones’ son Symhir decorate her home.
“The house revolved around him,” she said.
A few weeks ago, she dropped him off at an in-home daycare in Mesa that the family had been using since this summer called “Tiffany’s In-Home Child Care”.
“I felt like my baby was so safe,” Jones said.
But little did she know that would be the last time she’d see her little boy alive.
“I said ‘I love you’ and he said ‘I love you too.’ I just wish I would’ve hugged him longer,” she said.
She says she got a call from the owner, Tiffany, that Symhir had chocked on a sandwich and help was on the way.
“I just kept asking her, ‘Is my baby OK? Is he OK?’ She said, ‘He’s OK, yes. They’re taking the food out of his mouth. They’re still getting the food out of his mouth. He’s OK. He’s OK,'” Jones said.
But Symhir didn’t make it.
“It’s so hard for me to just live on,” Jones said.
She says she learned about Tiffany after seeing a flyer on social media.
On it, it clearly states Tiffany is CPR-certified.
She now wishes she would’ve asked Tiffany to verify her training.
“I didn’t know that she hadn’t had a CPR license until the paramedics and the detectives were questioning her, she told them she hadn’t had a license in years,” Jones said.
Mesa police say they’re still investigating what happened, and no charges have been filed.
As for Jones, she has this message to other parents: “Just giving them awareness of the things to look for and, you know, proof of everything that the childcare provider is saying they have and the things they do, because there are little things that I missed that I feel guilty as a parent.”
“Tiffany’s” is not listed in the state health department’s database for licensed child care providers.
Arizona’s law requires in-home daycares to be licensed if they have more than four children in their care.