KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- One day after an 11-month-old boy went to sleep and never woke up at Advantage Child Care Center, a candlelight vigil was held in his honor. More than 50 people came out on Wednesday night for little Giovanni.
He was a boy that people said lived big in his short time. A tiny pair of shoes sat in the middle of the memorial left behind along with pictures and balloons. Despite the celebration of the boy’s life, the family said the healing has not yet begun.
Giovanni was exactly one month shy of his first birthday when he was pronounced dead on Tuesday. Instead of a celebration of life, balloons and cake, Wednesday's vigil celebrated his memory.
Giovanni and his two older brothers all attended Advantage together. The boys’ mom, Josie Sembler, said the staff is like family.
But the uncertainty around Giovanni’s death is taking its toll. While the Wyandotte County coroner said a preliminary autopsy showed no signs of disease or trauma, Dr. Alan Hancock said that he hasn’t ruled anything out until the autopsy, which will include toxicology tests, is complete.
Sembler said no one from the Advantage showed up to the vigil, but as they’ve said, they aren't yet placing blame. The day are has been licensed since 2003. In 2013, it was cited for not being able to prove employees had training on safe sleep and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. The state said that was corrected within a week. Both the state and police are now conducting investigations.