10-month-old dies at North Carolina daycare after choking on pine cone

RALEIGH, N.C. -- A 10-month-old accidentally choked on a pine cone at a home daycare Wednesday, according to Raleigh Police Department.

It happened just before 11 a.m. at the A Hug A Day Daycare, which is run out of a home on Adcox Place in the Fox Hollow neighborhood.

Family members identified the 10-month-old boy as Areon Ellington. A family member messaged ABC11 saying, "this baby had a piece of pine cone in his mouth and it blocked his air passage."

Raleigh police ruled Ellington's death an accident, but said the investigation into his death was still open.

Nobody at A Hug A Day Daycare answered ABC11 requests for comment Wednesday.

State license records show the daycare has 3 out of 5 stars. It has been in operation since 2003, and the state has never had to take corrective action against the daycare.

In addition, the state reports it made five unannounced visits to the daycare over the last three years. Some violations were noted during three of those visits.

Antoinette Rochelle is listed as the daycare's owner. ABC11 was unable to get in contact with her at her home or through phone calls.

Rochelle's neighbors said she is a good woman who runs a good daycare. They said they had not heard of any prior problems at the daycare.
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