Homicide detectives are investigating the death of a 16-month-old girl who was strangled at an unlicensed day-care home in Lomita, a Los Angeles County sheriff’s spokesman said Tuesday.
A preliminary investigation showed that Michele Heasley of Lomita was killed Monday afternoon by someone who wrapped something around her neck, Deputy Eric Smith said. A spokeswoman in the county coroner’s office said an autopsy will be conducted this week.
The girl died at Torrance Memorial Hospital Medical Center after a 19-year-old baby-sitter called paramedics to report that the girl had stopped breathing.
Investigators said the baby-sitter told them that the infant was fine when she checked on her about 2 p.m. but had stopped breathing when she looked in on her again an hour later.
Smith said the infant and six other children, ranging in age from 3 to 5, were being cared for at the private home where the 19-year-old lives with her family.
Sheriff’s officials said they have no suspects in the case and declined to identify the baby-sitter.