Baby Girl Dies Just Two Months after Being Adopted – Cause of Death Revealed

A little girl was meant to live a long, happy, and fulfilling life when she was adopted as a newborn baby by a loving couple. Sadly, a few months later, the family is grieving and a little boy is left without a sibling.

These adoptive parents looked forward to adding a new addition to their small family. They were thrilled when they welcomed a baby girl. Sadly, within months the child was gone due to unforeseen circumstances and a case is being investigated.

Romer and Jayson De Los Santos posing together on June 13, 2023 | Source: Facebook/Jayson De Los Santos

Romer and Jayson De Los Santos posing together on June 13, 2023 | Source: Facebook/Jayson De Los Santos

On June 13, 2024, a 911 call came from Santee, an East County neighborhood, in the early hours of the day. The San Diego Sheriff’s Department deputies responded. A two-month-old infant was discovered unresponsive at around 12:20 a.m. in an SUV parked outside her parents’ home.

Law enforcement revealed that the baby girl, Diana Sofia De Los Santos, was left for several hours in the hot car. Diana had been in the vehicle in 63F weather before a family member made the discovery and called 911.

Deputies and paramedics provided emergency care before the child was rushed to Sharp Grossmont Hospital. The little girl was taken by first responders in an ambulance that came and left within minutes.

But, detectives confirmed that the little girl died at the hospital later. The sheriff’s Child Abuse Unit is investigating the infant’s death. On June 19, 2024, when the news broke, the child’s adoptive parents weren’t facing any charges.

The day before, a news publication talked to the late child’s father who refused the interview. The parent, who adopted the child as a newborn, was described as being “distraught.” Officials revealed that the county Medical Examiner’s Office will determine the cause and manner of death.

They asked people with any information to call the Sheriff’s Department non-emergency line at (858) 868-3200 or the sheriff’s child abuse unit at (858) 285-6222. The tragedy occurred days before the start of summer and pushed sheriff’s officials to give a staunch reminder.

They urged the public that it is illegal to leave a child alone in a car. The rule is applied even when the engine is running or the key is in the ignition. In a news release, they asked people not to leave their children alone in cars even if it’s for a second.

The authorities noted how summer routines shifted. This could cause parents to forget their quiet or sleeping children in the backseat. They encouraged parents to remember: “Once You Park, Stop, Look, Lock.”

A man holding his car keys | Source: Freepik

A man holding his car keys | Source: Freepik

Some other tips they gave included:

– Checking with a caregiver, partner, or spouse when there are changes in schedules.

– Requesting to be called by the childcare provider if your child doesn’t arrive for expected care.

– Putting a briefcase, work badge, purse, phone, or other personal items in the backseat to remind you to look there before locking the car.

– Writing a note or putting a stuffed animal in the passenger’s seat to remind you of your child in the backseat.

– Teaching children that cars aren’t play areas.

– Remember to lock car doors and keep the keys or fobs out of children’s reach to stop them from getting trapped inside vehicles.

A little boy focused on a phone in the backseat of a car | Source: Freepik

A little boy focused on a phone in the backseat of a car | Source: Freepik

In November 2023, Romer and Jayson De Los Santos posted a link to an adoption website profile via social media. In it, they said they wished to welcome a second child. The couple said at the time that their home and hearts were open to giving more love to “another amazing child.”

The De Los Santos’ even shared everything they wished their children would experience under their care. These included wanting their children to grow up with memories of building sandcastles, playing on the beach, and biking to the park. They also wished for them to make friends, learn how to raise foster kittens and go on Hawaiian cruises.

Jayson has been a stay-at-home father since the couple adopted their son. Romer serves as a senior consultant at Jama Software. The couple has been together for over two decades. The pair married in 2008 when same-sex marriage was legal in California.

Proposition 8 banned same-sex marriage until 2013. Jayson and Romer’s adoption profile said they promised to “raise healthy, responsible, and most importantly, kind adults.” The duo’s home is a three-bedroom house with lots of animals.

Jayson De Los Santos cradling his son on October 12, 2023 | Source: Facebook/Jayson De Los Santos

Jayson De Los Santos cradling his son on October 12, 2023 | Source: Facebook/Jayson De Los Santos

The couple has two dogs, chickens, three cats, fish, parakeets, and other foster animals. Romer described himself as a gardener. He grew bonsai trees, vegetables, fruit, and flowers in the backyard. Jayson takes care of the animals and collects eggs laid by the chickens.

The pair revealed that their house was “very popular” with neighbors and their children. The home was allegedly described as being like a petting zoo. The De Los Santos’ noted how excited everyone was to meet their future child.

They sold their pitch, saying their new baby would have “ready-made best friends” in the form of the boys who live next door. The trio, aged below two, often played with the couple’s son. The parents felt their son would treasure his younger sibling.

The new child would thrive having him because he was loving and played gently with his friends. The duo also said the child’s biological parents would be allowed to visit and see as many pictures as they wanted.

The couple, who come from large families, believed they weren’t only adopting a child but opening themselves to a new family. The De Los Santos’ got their wishes fulfilled when they took their little girl home on April 11, 2024.

They’d flown to Arizona to a hospital where they met Diana for the first time. The couple celebrated the adoption by posting images of them cradling their baby girl. They also showed themselves introducing Diana to their adopted two-year-old son.

People also saw the infant sleeping in a crib at her new home. Romer captioned one of the photos noting how he hadn’t “slept in days.” A neighbor spoke to a publication anonymously about that fateful night. The person even provided footage taken by their Ring doorbell camera.

The clip showed several first responders and police officers arriving at the Settle Road home. Ambulances also arrived with the neighbor stating, “I can’t fathom leaving a kid in a car.” The neighbor shared how each year was the same, with them seeing a child lose their life.

Reports showed that the temperature inside a car can rise to 104F in half an hour on a 70F day. It could reach 115F in an hour, and the body’s organs start shutting down at 107F. No Heat Stroke’s Jan Null from the San Jose State University Adjunct Professor of Meteorology gave some statistics on such deaths.

Null revealed that around 37 children die yearly across the US from being left inside hot cars. This included at least 56 in California since 1998. Florida and Texas had the most deaths, 142 and 110 respectively. The hot South and Southwest had the most per capita.

A little girl playing in a parked car | Source: Pexels

A little girl playing in a parked car | Source: Pexels

Children’s body temperatures go up three to five times faster than adults because they can’t regulate their temperature as efficiently. Car temperatures can reach 140F in an hour on a 95F day. Opening a car window only reduces the temperature by about 3F.

The law in California imposes a $100 fine on anyone who leaves a child under six in a car “where there are conditions that present a significant risk to the child’s health or safety.” Authorities could also charge the guilty party with manslaughter or neglect depending on how much harm the child experiences.

A man holding the door handle of a parked car | Source: Freepik

A man holding the door handle of a parked car | Source: Freepik

But parents who mistakenly leave their children in cars are not charged. The pain of losing a child is considered punishment enough. Yet, some prosecutors still charge them with manslaughter, and many have served jail time.

Speaking to a different publication, a neighbor revealed that the De Los Santos’ appeared to be good parents. They often played outside with their children. The unidentified neighbor described the couple as a “nice family” who seemed to want to give some children a good life. The person added, “It’s just a shame it didn’t turn out that way.”

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