Police: 1-Year-Old Boy Drowns In Baptismal Pool

Boy Was At Church For Day Care

A 1-year-old boy in day care drowned in a baptismal pool at a church on Indianapolis' northwest side Wednesday, police said.

Officers were called to the Praise Fellowship Assembly of God at 6700 N. Michigan Road just before 2 p.m.

Police said a boy in day care at the church was found in about two feet of water in the uncovered pool.

He was taken to St. Vincent Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The boy was later identified as Juan Cardenas.

Kendale Adams, Indianapolis police public information officer, said a therapist tried to find the boy to start a session, but she couldn't find him. Workers then found the boy in the pool.

"We have our homicide investigators here, along with members of our child abuse team and (Child Protective Services) here trying to determine how the child actually got there," Adams said.

Christine Johnson Cantrell said she was shocked to learn of the death when she picked up from 6-year-old son from the day care.

"I've never had a problem here. Not one time," she said. "I feel really bad for the family."

The day care employs eight people and cares for between 30 and 45 children. In Indiana, church day cares have fewer requirements to follow than home day cares, licensed centers and similar facilities.

Often, parents aren't aware about violations state inspectors find because neither the state nor the day care is required to tell parents about most issues.

The Praise Fellowship Assembly of God day care was cited for 18 violations in its latest inspection in November. The violations range in severity. They include having expired food and formula and not doing criminal background checks on employees.

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