CHICAGO — Babies in Cook County are dying of suspicious causes at an alarming rate, according to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.
On Friday, 1-month-old Estefanai Gasca was found unresponsive in her home in the 8000 block of South Kolin in the Ashburn neighborhood, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's office. She was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn where she was pronounced dead.
Police are conducting a death investigation, said Officer John Mirabelli, a police spokesman.
DCFS spokesman Dave Clarkin said the department was investigating the baby's death, and that three other children reside in the home. A Saturday autopsy of the child was "pending further studies," according to the medical examiner's office.
Clarkin said DCFS has noticed an alarming 43 percent increase in suspicious infant deaths in Cook County this year. The department has reached out to community groups such as the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, the Illinois Black Chamber of Commerce and the Archdiocese of Chicago to address the problem.
"There is more work to be done," he said.
DCFS has had no prior contact with Estefanai's family, Clarkin said.