A 26-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the death of a 4-year-old boy in Kent County's Gaines Township.
Jail records and neighbors identify the suspect as Elis Nelson Ortiz.
Deputies were sent around 10:45 a.m. Tuesday, June 13 to a home on North Green Meadow Street SE in the Green Meadow Mobile Home Park on a report of a 4-year-old child not breathing, according to a Kent County Sheriff's Department news release.
Rescuers were able to regain the child's pulse; he was taken to a Grand Rapids hospital where he died shortly after arrival.
The suspect was performing CPR on the child when authorities arrived, said Kent County Sheriff's Dept. Capt. Bruce Ivie.
"He did the CPR thing, he pumped his chest, he did the Heimlich," recalls neighbor and witness Lewanda Vaughn. "He was awesome. He did what he was supposed to do."
The suspect was watching seven children under the age of 11 at the time, Ivie said. He was the father of some of the children, but not of the boy who died, Ivie said.
"When they told me the little one had passed away I couldn't believe it," said neighbor Lorrraine Skalandis. "I knew all the kids. All playful kids."
The case has been referred to the Kent County Prosecutor's Office.
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