An unlicensed daycare facility in Soho, which reportedly offered organic snacks and Spanish immersion classes, has been shuttered after a three-month-old boy died on his first day there.
Day care workers at SoHo Childcare, located on one of SoHo's chicest streets, called police at 12:15 p.m. Monday after they could not wake up the boy, Karl Towndrow, from a nap. He was taken to Lenox Hill Hospital, where he was pronounced dead after he could not be resuscitated.
Towndrow’s parents, Amber Scorah and Lee Towndrow, released a statement asking for privacy. The Brooklyn Heights residents said of their son: “He was full of love and was treasured by all that met him. At this time, his parents ask for privacy as they grieve his short, wonderful life.”
Scorah and Towndrow occasionally contribute to Gothamist; editor Jen Carlson has launched a GoFundMe page to help the Towndrows pay for funeral costs and medical bills.
The New York City Health Department and the New York State Office of Children and Family Services were investigating the cause of death. The Medical Examiner's Office's initial autopsy results were inconclusive, reported the Daily News.
The unlicensed facility broke city regulation by exceeding the limited number of 12 children in a group day care facility. Authorities reported 14 children present in the facility.
The New York City Health Department issued a statement, saying “we are saddened and concerned about this death, and are working closely with law enforcement and ACS on an investigation.”
The NY State Office of Children and Family Services issued a Cease and Desist letter to the day care facility after the health department confirmed that it was operating illegally. Penalties are up to $500 dollars per day if the center does not comply with a Cease and Desist.