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Mother says 5-month-old baby unexpectedly died at Gresham daycare

Esai Jubel Loneman (Courtesy Melissa Perkins)

A Gresham mother says her 5-month-old baby boy unexpectedly died at a daycare Wednesday afternoon.

Melissa Perkins says she dropped off her baby, Esai Jubel Loneman, at Mi Familia Childcare Wednesday morning. Esai had breathing problems when he was first born, but Perkins says doctors never diagnosed him with anything. The mother says Esai had no breathing issues for the past few months.

Perkins said Esai seemed in good health when she dropped him off. She checked in on him around 2 p.m. and was told, "He's kind of fussy but he's asleep now."

Around 4 p.m. she got the phone call that would change her life forever.

"They just said, 'Something happened to him.' I said, 'What do you mean?' They said, 'You just need to come down here,'" Perkins recalled.

Esai died Wednesday. His cause of death has not yet been released to the media.

"One day, everything, your whole world is shaken. What do you do from here?" asked Perkins.

Perkins said she has no idea what happened in the hours leading up to Esai's death.

"I just want to know, where was he sleeping, what was he doing before, was anything wrong... she could have called me and I could have came and got him," Perkins said.

Dawn Woods, a spokesperson for Oregon's Early Learning Division, says Mi Familia is a registered care facility with no complaints in their 10-month history. Agents followed up at the facility Thursday.

KATU News reached out to the daycare, but no one wanted to comment. Woods says there are no signs of neglect or abuse at this point. She added that instances like this are very rare.

If you'd like to help the boy's family, a GoFundMe link is set up here.

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