Baby boy dies at daycare after choking on a PINE CONE: Report

A baby boy is dead and police say it happened after the infant choked on a pine cone at a home daycare in North Carolina on Wednesday.

ABC 30 reports that the incident happened at A Hug A Day Daycare a little before 11 a.m. The daycare is managed out of a home in the Fox Hollow neighborhood in Raleigh. Family members identified the little boy as 10-month-old Areon Ellington. A family member told the outlet that the baby “had a piece of pine cone in his mouth and it blocked his air passage.”

Police listed the incident as accidental but an investigation remains open.

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“Presently, there are no indications that the call involved anything other than a deceased-person case,” Raleigh police spokesperson, Laura Hourigan, told The News & Observer. “As always, final determinations will be made from the findings of thorough follow-up work.”

According to WRAL 5, the baby’s grandmother, Helena Harris, said the little boy was outside at the daycare when a piece of the pine cone lodged in his throat.

“The daycare lady called me and told me that I needed to get to the daycare because Areon was choking on something,” the grandmother said. “He was my heart. He was my heart… He was our get up and go. He was, through our struggles, what was bonding us together.”

Records with the Division of Child Development and Early Education indicate that the daycare has received violations previously, including failure to maintain daily schedules, health assessment filing problems, and hazardous/dangerous items found on the property.

Neighbors, however, claimed the daycare owner has always been a nice person. They said they’ve never noticed any previous issues.

The story is developing. Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.

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[Feature Photo: Areon Ellington/Handout]