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Mother Mourns Death Of Child In Foster Care

AUBURN (CBS) -- Jessica Conway can't believe her 2-year-old daughter is gone.

"I still don't know how to process it," Conway said. "I cry all day, I am just numb."

Police say Conway's daughter, Avalena Conway-Coxon, and a 22-month-old child were under DCF custody when they were found unresponsive in their foster home at Pheasant Court in Auburn on Saturday.

Police were called to the home just shortly after noon. Both children were given CPR. One of the girls remains in critical condition.

A third child, a 6-month-old, was also hospitalized for precautionary measures.

On Sunday, investigators collected boxes and bags of potential evidence and towed an SUV from the home.

Jessica Conway
Jessica Conway and her daughter Avalena. (Family photo)

Neighbors told WBZ-TV they heard screaming from the home.

"The Department is actively working with law enforcement and medical personnel to determine the cause of death of one child and hospitalization of another child," DCF spokeswoman Andrea Grossman said in a statement. "Both children lived in a foster home and were foster children."

Two children were found unresponsive in this home in Auburn. (WBZ-TV)

Authorities say the foster mother called 911. Auburn police say they are familiar with the mother but would not comment on specific details. She is cooperating with police in the investigation.

Neighbors told WBZ Newsradio 1030's Kim Tunnicliffe that the woman fostering the two girls was a good, devoted mom.

"What ever happened, it was maybe an accident," one neighbor said.

The foster home has been licensed with the state since 2014. DCF last visited the home on Aug. 12, three days before the incident.

Neighbors said the mother had three children of her own and planned on adopting the foster kids.

Six children lived in the home. The Worcester County District Attorney's office says there were no signs of abuse on the other children in the home. The remaining children have been taken into state custody. Authorities have not released the identity of the children pending notification of their biological parents.

Gov. Charlie Baker's office issued a statement on the incident Sunday morning.

"Governor Baker is deeply saddened to learn of this tragic situation and is in constant communication with leadership at DCF and public safety about their ongoing investigation," a spokeswoman said.

No arrests have been made.

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