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Report: Roswell Child, 3, Died By Hanging at Daycare

State records show the Alpharetta daycare where Thomas Stephens, 3, died was cited in January for safety violations due to hazards around its outdoor play area.

Credit: Patch
Credit: Patch
The toddler who died earlier this week at an Alpharetta residential daycare program appears to have accidentally hanged himself on playground equipment, according to a report on WSB-TV.

The child, identified as Thomas Stephens, 3, of Roswell, died by strangulation on a piece of twine attached to a slide at Ms. Janna's Daycare, the station reported.

Alpharetta police responded to the call around 9:54 a.m. Tuesday and arrived onto the scene to find a woman performing CPR on the child.  

The child was taken to the hospital after the incident occurred, but died in the hospital Wednesday evening. Alpharetta police launched its investigation into the death on Thursday.

Alpharetta Department of Public Safety Spokesperson George Gordon told the news station it appears the case is an "absolute tragedy." 

Gordon noted it appears the child may have placed his head inside the loop of twine while playing on the slide. 

The daycare, located at 145 Shady Grove Lane, has been issued an Order for Intended Emergency Closure of a Family Day Care Home by the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning, or DECAL.

Reg Griffin, spokesperson with DECAL, said these orders are used by the agency when there's been a death of a child "that was not medically anticipated." 

"In this incident, DECAL found serious rule violations contributed to the death of a child," he said in a prepared statement.

It's not the first rule violations issued by the state. 

Records show DECAL inspectors during a licensing study visit in January cited the center, which has been up and running in the same location for 25 years, for safety violations around its playground.

Specifically, hazards such as a wheel barrow located against a fence, an unraveled water house, excessive tree limbs and pine cones were observed throughout the outdoor play area. Two protruding nails to the right of a wooden ladder on the wooden climber were also cited. 

While the case appears to be an accident, the investigation remains active.

Stay with Patch for updates.
janh999 July 12, 2014 at 09:57 AM
Which basically shows that no one was with this child outside when it happened or he would have been able to be freed from the twine before CPR was even needed. Complete neglect.
Cain Harris July 14, 2014 at 06:27 AM
I would not make that assumption without knowing the facts. Perhaps one should reserve judgement until all the facts are in. God Bless those parents and all involved.
Jimmy Godoy July 14, 2014 at 11:55 AM
A report released by Alpharetta police indicates Ms. Janna's Daycare owner Janna Thompson left Thomas Stephens, 3, alone outside before he accidentally hanged himself Tuesday morning.
janh999 July 15, 2014 at 10:04 AM
All the reports say that she left the child alone. Its pretty obvious that the child was unattended so it really wasn't an assumption at all.
AgtOrange July 14, 2014 at 09:14 AM
Obviously the fact is that nobody was watching this child during the moments when he was suffocating. To say different would suggest whoever was watching him didn't render aid, which seems improbable.

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