Toddler Found Dead in New Lenox Township

The Will County Sheriff's Department is investigating a home that might have been running an unlicensed child care center.

A 2-year-old toddler died Tuesday in what appears to be an unlicensed child care center in New Lenox Township, police said.

The Will County Sheriff's Department is still investigating the incident, which occurred at a home on the 200 block of West Illinois Highway. According to the Sheriff's Department, the residents of the home were not licensed with the Department of Children and Family Services to run a daycare facility.

"It appears to me that this was a husband and wife who had been offering a home day care for some time," sheriff's police spokesman Ken Kaupas said. The Department of Child and Family Services is investigating whether the residents had a license.

The 2-year-old, confirmed to be Dominic A. Zettergren from Bourbonnais, was one of seven children being cared for in the home. Department spokeswoman Kathy Hoffmeyer couldn't confirm whether any of the children were related to the residents of the home, a 56-year-old man and a 49-year-old woman.

"I don’t know if they’re related at all or not," Hoffmeyer said. "The last names are not the same."

According to the reports, the toddler was napping and unresponsive when the residents tried to wake him up. He was taken to Silver Cross Hospital in Joliet and pronounced dead at 3:15 p.m. Tuesday.

Will County Coroner Patrick O’Neil is waiting for toxicology reports to come back after an autopsy was not conclusive. But Kaupas said initial reports showed no signs of abuse.

If it's determined that the toddler died of natural causes, Kaupas said the department would drop its criminal investigation but would continue to assist Child and Family Services regarding the licensing. 

"Our component of this at this point is the death of this child whether it was natural or criminal," he said.


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