Memorial now sits outside home of Akron toddler who died in cold

AKRON, OH – A makeshift memorial of stuffed animals sits on the front porch of an apartment where a little girl once lived. Akron Police are investigating the two-year-old’s death. She was found in the cold and unresponsive by her mother Friday afternoon.

“Especially that baby is so young and innocent and you know helpless outside. It just breaks my heart,” said Shayla Johnson.

Johnson lives next door to the family in the apartment complex on Doty Drive. Johnson said she often saw the little girl playing outside alone with her older brother, who is a few years older.

“They would be out there just playing around it would be her and her older brother just playing around outside at the park,” she said.

Several teddy bears lay on the porch of the apartment where, according to 911 calls, the mother found the daughter around 3:30 pm Friday. In the 911 recordings dispatchers are heard explaining how to do CPR.

Police say the girl was taken to Akron Children’s Hospital where she died.

The tragedy reached the pastor of Springfield Baptist Church who says he plans to reach out to the family.

“When the names are released we will certainly be open to helping anyway we can with the needs of the family to offer spiritual support or any other resources that we could possibly give to them,” said Pastor Larry Baldridge.

Authorities had not released the cause of death or name of the little girl as of Sunday afternoon. According to the Centers for Disease Control, young children have a higher risk of hypothermia and lose heat faster than adults.

“They need to be protected whether they got a scarf, gloves, because its cold out here,” Johnson said.

Johnson who is a mother of two herself says she feels for the mother.

“I’m just sad about it honestly, because I couldn’t imagine losing my child, especially that young,” she said.