3 arrested in death of toddler found unconscious at Fontana day care

Three daycare providers were arrested Tuesday in connection with the death of a toddler who was found not breathing at their Fontana facility, police said.

Sagan Marriott, 27, Rebecca Lutz, 29, and Deborah Jimenez, 52, were taken into custody on suspicion of child endangerment, according Sgt. Kevin Goltara, a spokesman for Fontana Police Department. Police said the child care providers were negligent in their care of 1-year-old Deacon Morin, and also had too many children for the facility’s size and staffing.

“I don’t know if parents were aware of what their licenses were for,” he said.

Detectives began investigating the daycare providers after Deacon’s death on Oct. 5.


Deacon, who was wearing an amber-beaded necklace around his neck, had been placed down to sleep during naptime at the Marriott Family Child Care facility.

At some point, Marriott and Lutz discovered he was unresponsive and not breathing, police said.

When Marriott and Lutz found Deacon, they waited for Jimenez to arrive to the facility to call 911, police said.

He was taken to a hospital, where he remained on life support for five days. Deacon’s cause of death hasn’t been determined.


On Oct. 10, his mother, Danielle Morin, decided to take him off life support and donate his organs, she wrote in a Facebook post.

The grieving mother called for justice, saying she and other parents weren’t made aware of the facility’s infractions.

“I almost threw up in my lap that a daycare where my son just died still holds the right to watch kids regardless of their 14 hidden infractions and 3 year probation for non-supervision that us parents were made unaware of,” she wrote. “This means that these women have the right to watch your children too.”

According to police, Marriott was “grossly over capacity” on the day Deacon was found. The facility was caring for six infants, two more than the number of children allowed at any time, police said. At least 12 other children were also at the facility that day.

“The daycare staff grossly exceeded the licensing regulations by over four times, endangering the lives and safety of the children under their care,” police said.

Marriott and Lutz worked for Jimenez, who also ran Little Impressions Child Care, also known as Jimenez Family Child Care Home.

When Jimenez’s facility reached its capacity, she would send children to Marriott, police said.

Jimenez’s facility was on probation and had been cited at least 13 times for immediate and potential “health, safety and personal impact” violations, according to the state’s Department of Community Care Licensing.


Goltara said the facilities’ licenses have been suspended.

To read the article in Spanish, click here

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