GARDNER, Kan. — The Gardner Police Department is investigating a 2-year-old child’s suspicious death Wednesday.
It’s left the community shocked, but sadly not surprised. The toddler died after nearly a week in the hospital.
“That’s devastating to me. That’s awful and why? How?” neighbor John Suarez said.
FOX4 spoke with one neighbor who actually has had to call police before with concerns of child neglect.
“It just makes me sick. It makes me disgusted. I can’t believe — I wish I could have helped and broke down that door,” neighbor Jeannie Rousselo said.
On Nov. 2, Gardner police were dispatched just before 4 p.m. to the area of 188th and Locust streets for a medical call. A caretaker had found a 2-year-old child unresponsive, police said.
As first responders took the child to a local hospital, officials determined the child had suffered an injury that led to a life-threatening condition. Police did not disclose anymore information about the child’s injuries.
On Wednesday, the child died as a result of those injuries, Gardner police said.
Officials have not released the name of the child yet, pending family notification.
Rousselo, who lives in the unit across from where this child was transported from, said for months something has been going on. She’d hear the little girl crying all the time.
“It was just awful to think they’re not being consoled yet, and I would hear the crying,” she said. “And then I would go out later to get more groceries or something, and I would still hear them crying.”
It was concerning enough for her to previously call police.
“It scared me, and I felt like something was going on – neglect at the very least,” she said.
Rousselo said within the last two days, she’s heard from detectives asking about all that she witnessed.
FOX4 reached out to Gardner police to ask how many times they had been to the home and if the parents are at the center of the many questions that need answers. They told us all of that information is a part of their ongoing investigation.
“Very unsettling to me, but in this complex, it doesn’t surprise me,” Suarez said.
Police continue to investigate. Anyone with information is asked to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-8477 or submit a tip online.