19-month-old Arizona boy dies after choking on sandwich at day care, officials say

A 19-month-old Arizona boy is dead after he choked on a turkey sandwich while at day care, authorities said.

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Mesa police are investigating the incident at a day care center in connection with the Oct. 23, death of Shymir Penn, KNXV reported.

"I never expected to have to bury my 19-month-old child," Star Jones, Shymir's mother, told the television station.

Jones had been taking her son and his 6-year-old brother to Tiffany's In Home Child Care, an in-home daycare center in Mesa, since July, according to KPNX.

Jones said she received a call from the day care's owner Oct. 22, who said Shymir had choked and medical assistance was responding.

"I just kept asking her, 'Is my baby OK? Is he OK?'" Jones told KNXV. "She said, 'He's OK, yes they're taking the food out of his mouth. They're still getting the food out of his mouth. He's OK. He's OK.'"

The boy was taken to an area hospital, where he died the next day, KPNX reported.

Jones said there had been no problems with her children's care at the in-home center.

Jones said she learned about the day care after seeing a flyer on social media, which noted the babysitter was certified in CPR, KVNV reported. However, that information was out of date, Jones told the television station.

"I didn't know that she hadn't had CPR license until the paramedics and the detectives were questioning her. She told them she hadn't had a license in years," Jones told KNXV

GoFundMe page was set up by Shymir's parents to cover expenses, and $11,100 was raised.

"He was just the light of our family," Jones told KPNX. "I have a fiancé and a 6-year old, and he was the boss. He just brought us so much joy, was just so happy and smart and active.

The investigation is ongoing and no charges have been filed, police said.

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