Metro

Death of 18-month-old in Danvers appears to be a ‘terrible tragedy,’ officials say

Authorities are turning to the state’s medical examiner Wednesday in hopes of discovering what caused the death of an 18-month-old child in Danvers, Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett’s office said.

The child’s death might have been the result of a medical issue, prosecutors said in a statement, “but we cannot say for certain until an autopsy is performed.” The medical examiner’s office expects to conduct the autopsy Wednesday, prosecutors said.

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Carrie Kimball Monahan, a spokeswoman for the Essex district attorney’s office, said in a statement late Wednesday afternoon that the incident appears to be “a terrible tragedy.”

Kimball Monahan also reiterated that as with all unexplained child deaths, the investigation will continue with the OCME in a process “that is complicated and time-consuming.”

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According to Blodgett’s office, the child’s father arrived at a baby sitter’s home at 24 Fellows St. around 5 p.m. Tuesday.

“The child, who had been napping in a crib in a bedroom, was found unresponsive by the babysitter,’’ according to prosecutors. “Emergency services were contacted, the child was transported to Beverly Hospital and the child was pronounced deceased.”

The Department of Children and Families has been notified about the child’s death, a spokeswoman wrote in an e-mail to the Globe on Tuesday.

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The investigation is ongoing, Blodgett’s office said.

The baby sitter’s home is a single-family residence located on a quiet street off Route 35 that was decorated with two pumpkins on the front steps Tuesday night.

One neighbor who asked not to be identified said a couple lives at the home with two young children.

Several other neighbors declined to comment when contacted by the Globe Tuesday evening.

Globe correspondents Adam Sennott and Jake Johnson contributed to this report. John R. Ellement can be reached at ellement@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe.
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