Jennifer Millman

New Details Emerge in NY Toddler's Day Care Nap Death Investigation

Isabella Hagenlocher, 3, was put down for a nap at day care on Friday; she never woke up

What to Know

  • 3-year-old Isabella Hagenlocher died after she went down for a nap at her Long Island day care on Friday and never woke up
  • The girl was declared brain dead and put on life support; she died several days later, on Monday morning
  • The child's bereaved parents say she had no medical issues they knew of; an autopsy is expected to be conducted on Tuesday

The parents of a 3-year-old girl who suddenly died after she went down for a nap at a Long Island day care last week tell News 4 a doctor's review of a brain scan indicates the toddler had been without oxygen for roughly 25 minutes. 

But why? In the case of Isabella Hagenlocher, there remain far more questions than answers. The toddler's grieving family hopes an autopsy, expected to be conducted Tuesday, will shed some light on what went wrong.

The girl's parents say she had no medical issues they knew of and was healthy and vibrant right until the point she didn't awaken from her Friday nap at the Grace Lutheran School day care in Malverne. They say the teacher reported the children went to sleep around 11:30 a.m. that day and that the kids usually rest for an hour; it was after about 80 minutes that staff tried to wake Isabella up and she didn't respond. The school nurse tried CPR as 911 was called.

Isabella was taken to a hospital, where she was declared brain dead and put on life support. She died several days later, on Monday morning.  

Parents picking up children at the day care that afternoon said the principal told them to pray for Isabella. 

"My heart goes out to them," said parent Anthony Mastrande. "This is horrible."

Grace Luthern day care was not licensed by the state Office of Children and Family Services because, according to a department spokeswoman, state law does not require that kindergartens, pre-kindergartens, nursery schools for children aged three years or older, or after-school programs operated by public school districts or private schools or academies be licensed by OCFS.

The Nassau County Police Department and the Medical Examiner's Office will determine how the girl died.

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