SACRAMENTO COUNTY (CBS13) — A woman once honored as Sacramento County’s “child care provider of the year” has been charged with felony child endangerment after she left a 2-month-old baby who was not breathing in an upstairs crib unattended for about 30 minutes, the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department announced Friday.

Sheila Marie Caceres, 31, was arrested Thursday and booked into the Sacramento County Jail on one charge of felony child endangerment and one misdemeanor charge of repeatedly allowing daycare children on the second floor of her home unsupervised, according to the District Attorney’s Office. She was released on $50,000 bail.

Caceres operated Garden Daycare through her home in the 4300 block of Grafton Circle near the former Mather Air Force Base. She was caring for 2-month-old Avin Rominger on Feb. 23 in her Mather home. She first told a deputy the baby was in a downstairs crib, then told sheriff’s detectives she took the baby upstairs to sleep after he was crying downstairs, according to the affidavit.

She told detectives that she put the baby in an upstairs crib but subsequently admitted that she left the baby asleep upstairs in a car seat.

Caceres also admitted that she checked on Avin at about 4:30 p.m., found that he was not breathing and, in a panic, put Avin in the crib and left him, the affidavit says.

“There were physical signs, it wasn’t just ‘I’m not sure if he’s breathing or not,’ there were physical signs — and she walked away.” Avin’s mother, Rachelle Rominger, told CBS13’s Derek Shore in an interview at her home on Friday.

According to the arrest affidavit, Caceres told detectives she noticed mucous coming from Avin’s mouth and “knew something was wrong with him but that she had never dealt with a baby not breathing before and just went into denial and moved him into the crib and left him.”

When Avin’s father, David Rominger, arrived to pick him up at about 4:55, Caceres told him that she had just found the baby was not breathing and she and an off-duty firefighter then began conducting CPR.

The baby was transported to Mercy San Juan Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

“My husband and I and other people in my family believe Sheila Caceres is responsible for the death of my son,” Rachelle Rominger said.

Avin’s autopsy listed his cause of death as sudden unexpected infant death with delayed medical intervention. According to pathologist Dr. Greg Reiber in the affidavit, “Whether the child might have been resuscitated if CPR had been initiated and 911 called when he was first found is unknown; however, any possibility of resuscitation would be made less likely by the delay in providing resuscitative measures.”

Caceres also told detectives that she didn’t make any phone calls after finding Avin not breathing, but phone records showed she called her father, Bryan Ellis, her husband, Gonzalo Caceres, and her close friend, Jennifer Clinton. Records also show her father, Bryan Ellis, called his brother, Greg Ellis, at 4:12 p.m, and Greg Ellis admitted to detectives that his brother told him “that a baby was found unresponsive at Sheila Caceres’ residence,” according to the affidavit.

Bryan Ellis initially denied speaking with Sheila Caceres about Avin, and then when confronted with the phone records “he stated he did not remember,” according to the affidavit.

Caceres was honored in 2008 as Sacramento County family child care provider of the year by the Sacramento Child Care Coalition.

Caceres, who surrendered her daycare license last month, is scheduled for arraignment on Nov. 4.

Comments (18)
  1. E says:

    I can’t comprehend leaving a 2 month old with a random daycare provider.

    1. Lavenia Winter says:

      “Caceres was honored in 2008 as Sacramento County family child care provider of the year by the Sacramento Child Care Coalition.”

      It’s not the parents fault E. They’re clearly suffering enough, and I’m sure you didn’t intend to imply that they were somehow responsible for this.

  2. PMA says:

    This is very unfortunate. All families involved are suffering. IT was never intentional, the provider is not a bad person, she made bad choices that day and this is the result. She’s not a bimbo. She’s educated and lived in a very nice neighborhood. She was not a random provider. She was providing steady care for this family starting with their older child before the baby joined the child care. She ihas been doing child care about 3 years, and had steady families using her services.
    Some things reported are things that didn’t happen or were exaggerated. Things do get twisted around. the true facts of the case will come out at trial.

    Family child care providers carry very heavy burdens in caring for other peoples children. Providers can make mistakes, but the % of things happening to a child in child care, whether it’s home base or center base are very low in comparison to children who are injured, neglected, or abused at home. More babies die of SIDS, and other injuries at home then anywhere else.

    1. E says:

      Why do you feel the need to defend this woman? Not only did her incompetence result in a baby’s death but she also had sex in front of daycare kids. What is wrong with you???

      1. spare me the drama says:

        she PMA sounds like she might b e kinfolk or the chicks mother to this chick or its the chick child abuser herself writing it all defending her spare me the drama.

    2. keef richards says:

      all humans on planet earth are suffering. got it? call on God for support during hard times while doing hard time here on earth. Jesus is the only way to really be happy and content while living on this planet. life goes by faster than a summer vacation. get your salvation before its to late folks.

      1. rmcsticks says:

        can the child call on your god for a do-over. Again I say, What kind of god lets this happen ! ! Someone tell the kid, jesus says it’s going to be ok BS

    3. Lavenia Winter says:

      Most of peoples “bad choices” don’t end up leaving someone’s infant dead. She didn’t forget to put away the milk. She was negligent. She found the baby not breathing, and did nothing to help resuscitate. Called a bunch of people….and not ONE of those losers called the police?!
      You’re a sicko if you’re defending her actions.

  3. Alison says:

    I agree with PMA. I know Caceres personally and have known her for over 15 years. There is just no way this was intentional. Yes she made poor choices after discovering the baby had died, but to say she willfully caused this child harm is absurd. As PMA said, more childen are harmed in their own homes versus day cares. Lets not be so quick to persecute her. “Jugde not, lest you be judged”. Matthew 7:1

    1. E says:

      You are misinterpreting that Bible verse. God gave us discernment for a reason. He does not want us stumbling about like fools, not using our God-given powers of judgment.

      1. Alison says:

        I suggest you read that scripture. here, I’ve made it easy for you:

        Matthew 7
        Judging Others
        1 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
        3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

        I’m no biblical scholar, but I dont think I’ve misinterpeted this particular scripture.

  4. Lavenia Winter says:

    Alison, would you be as forgiving if it had been your child? I get that she’s probably upset. But I noticed that you didn’t once mention how upset the baby’s parents must be feeling.
    She was horribly negligent. What on earth could possibly make a person find a baby unresponsive and you just leave them? I’m really, really curious.

    1. Alison says:

      I have no doubt that the parents are going though an immense amount of grief. I lost a loved one to a hit and run driver, so I know a little something about grief, sorrow, dispair, anger, and all the other emotions that come with losing someone tragically. If it were my child I would be devastated. Forgiveness is one of the hardest things to do Because I am a person of faith I know it is not my job to judge others. So I forgave the person who killed my brother. The rest I leave to God.

      1. Lavenia Winter says:

        Thank you for responding…It’s great to forgive, but for some it takes a little longer.

  5. Emma White says:

    My Prayers for both sides…it’s so sad : (

  6. H says:

    We all know how badly the media twists information. Much of this information in this article isn’t true. My heart breaks for the parents of the child as well as Caceres. I also know this person and know that she would never hurt any child on purpose…never. When you are close to a situation and it ends up in the news, you start to realize that perhaps you shouldn’t believe every word stated on the news. I will also be praying for both families.

  7. CC says:

    Praying for both of the families involved. As a former child care provider, it it very important to follow the guidelines, policies, procedures and regulations set forth by the state licensing agency. They are in place to protect the children in care, if followed, they protect the provider as well. If this provider truly did have this infant on another level of the home, she clearly went against regulations, that had she followed, she may have noticed sooner that the child was in distress, you cannot be in two places at one time, and to leave one child unsupervised on another level of the home is asking for trouble.

    I understand panic, but I wonder to myself if she panicked because she knew that she had violated licensing regulations? I wonder, would she have panicked and not gotten medical treatment for the child if it was her own infant found unresponsive? And for pity’s sake, why the lies about the phone calls?

  8. A Loving Person says:

    It is devastating to both sides of the families, yes she did break regulations and if she would of fallow them she might not be in jail now. Remember that it could have happened to the parents also. 2 month baby is too young to take to a Child Care or anybody I’m concern. This is a very touchy topic and all I know I feel for the parents for a great loss. If you are reading this I am speechless and sad about your loss. All I know for a fact that a great provider experience with infants is how many years?. How much they know about INFANT CPR training and from what source or instructor they are getting there training from every 2 years is the key here.

    This is to the providers: get your INFANT CPR and Children CPR from someone that really knows there stuff and to learn a lot from that instructor and always stay with that instructor and always keep in mind what has happen to other people or other providers it would not happen to you and if it does you know what to do and not panic by being taught by a great CPR instructor. This is where the strength and knowledge of a provider is to provide great quality Home Child Day Care from a great CPR instructor and always fellow the regulations and rules from the county and state and fire department and always remember this, Safety come first to the children then anything else.

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