A North Las Vegas day care owner will not face criminal charges in connection with a toddler’s drowning two weeks ago.
In a Friday memo to police, Chief Deputy District Attorney Christopher Laurent said the abuse and neglect case against Marisela Carvajal could not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt under state law, which requires intentional abuse or knowledge of abuse for a conviction.
The investigation “did not identify any evidence that Ms. Carvajal intentionally placed the children in harm’s way,” the memo read.
North Las Vegas police referred the case to prosecutors after 18-month-old Jordan Williams drowned Jan. 13 in a hot tub behind the home where Carvajal and her husband ran Marisela’s Family Day Care, 4731 Gunlock Circle, near Lone Mountain Road and Decatur Boulevard. A 3-year-old boy also fell in the water but survived.
Carvajal told investigators she had opened the gate separating the pool from the backyard patio to feed some chickens earlier in the day. She couldn’t remember whether the gate closed completely when she finished, the memo states.
About 3 p.m. Jordan and two other children were playing in the backyard when Carvajal left them unsupervised for one or two minutes to use the bathroom, the memo states. She was getting a soda from the kitchen when she realized she couldn’t hear the children playing, according to the memo.
She went outside and saw one child on the grass and another in the hot tub. When she approached the spa, she saw Jordan under the water and not moving.
Carvajal and Eduardo Guillen gave cardiopulmonary resuscitation to the children while others called 911. Jordan died at University Medical Center. The other boy was breathing on his own when he was taken to UMC.
Police interviewed Carvajal’s husband, their son and two others, who each corroborated her story.
At least one toddler drowning in recent years ended with criminal charges against the child’s uncle.
In that case, 16-month-old Logan Conrad crawled out a doggy door and drowned in a swimming pool after his uncle, Sean Conrad, fell asleep on the couch in February 2007.
The 27-year-old Conrad told investigators he had returned from a friend’s house about 5 a.m. that morning, and a blood test found marijuana, cocaine and the prescription pain killer hydrocodone in his system.
Prosecutors charged Conrad with a felony child abuse and neglect charge. He pleaded guilty in the middle of his trial and was found dead two days later.
His mother, Darlene Conrad, 54, also was charged. She was supposed to care for Logan but left him with her son, against the explicit instructions of the boy’s parents, so she could get her hair done.
She pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor and received a six-month suspended jail sentence.
Contact reporter Brian Haynes at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0281.