• Police: 3-year-old dies on playground equipment

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    ALPHARETTA, Ga. - The state has ordered an emergency closure at a residential daycare after a 3-year-old's death.
     
    Police said the victim, identified at Thomas Stephens of Roswell, accidentally hung himself on a piece of twine attached to a slide.
     
    The daycare owner's mother spoke briefly with Channel 2's Carl Willis Thursday.
     
    "We're praying for that family," said Phyllis Vernon. "When we do not have to deal with legal things, we're all in prayer for that family."
     
    According to the daycare's website, the owner, Janna Thompson, has been operating in the same home on Shady Grove lane for 25 years.
     
    Alpharetta police say someone left a piece of twine in the outdoor play area. 
     
    "At some point the child was on a slide at this daycare center and there was a loop of twine around a post at the top of the slide," said George Gordon. 
     
    Police say the child may have placed his head into the loop hanging himself.
     
    Stephens died in the hospital Wednesday night. Police opened an investigation Thursday morning.
     
    "It just remains for this case to be investigated," said Gordon. "At this point it appears to be an absolute tragedy, and bottom line we have a 3-year-old toddler who has passed."
     
    Channel 2 Action News found state records that reveal previous safety violations on the playground. A citation was issued in January after an inspector found hazards in the play area.
     
    The hazards included, a wheel barrow that was left on a fence, an unraveled water hose near a deck, and excessive tree limbs and pine cones through the outdoor play area.
     
    Police say Thompson stepped away for a moment then discovered the boy unconscious and in distress. She performed CPR, then firefighters arrived and took over but could not save the boy. 
     
    According to Thompson's LinkedIn page her business is a state-registered family home daycare.
     
    She claims she has passed criminal background checks, as did all of her staff. She also writes that she takes annual child care courses and is CPR certified.

    Janna Thompson's daycare released the following statement Friday afternoon: "We, as a family known as Ms. Janna's Home Daycare, are deeply grieving the tragic accidental loss of this precious child.  I have cared for Max in my home for three years and he was loved as one of my own.  My grief pales in comparison to that of his parents.  We are a family of faith and abiding trust in our Lord Jesus.  Please give your support and prayers for his family as we look to the Lord for His help during this difficult time."


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