A 9-month-old baby, Jailanyz Anaya, died tragically inside her family's South East Street apartment Wednesday morning. Thursday, Holyoke detectives were back at the apartment speaking with neighbors and trying to figure out what happened in the minutes leading up to her death.
"I feel horrible. It's unbelievable that things like this could happen to such young children," said Yolanda Pagan, a Holyoke resident who lives in the neighborhood.
Officials said the 911 call was made around 11:30 a.m. Wednesday. Jailanyz had already taken her last breaths before Holyoke police and firefighters arrived. They tried to revive her inside the apartment and also rushed her to Holyoke Medical Center, but the baby did not survive. Officials with the Hampden County District Attorney's Office said Jailanyz was left unattended in a bath tub.
"You'd expect that a child so young would be watched," Pagan said. "Whether she was strapped into a bath or not, you should always be there to watch. It's really scary."
Police said the baby's mother, Isamari Otero, was home when her daughter died. The 26-year-old has three other children, all boys ranging from 3 to 9 years old. Family friends and neighbors said this wasn't the first time something's happened to a child under Otero's watch. They told CBS 3 that one of her sons fell from a second-story window in recent years. CBS has not been able to confirm that.
"I have a hard time imagining why people have more kids if they can't take care of their first ones properly," said Pagan, who is expecting her first child. "Growing up in a neighborhood like this, it's hard. You have to at least try to make the perfect life for your child."
Holyoke police said an autopsy will be conducted Thursday night or early Friday morning to determine Jailanyz's exact cause of death. Depending on the results, officials said the mother could face charges ranging from child endangerment to manslaughter.
Family friends told CBS 3 that Otero has been admitted to the hospital for the crisis.
At the neighborhood convenience store, Almonte Deli and Market, a picture of Jailanyz was taped to a container. The store clerk said the family set it up to raise money for Jailanyz's family.
More information will be provided as it becomes available.
Copyright 2012 WSHM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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