Jan. 13, 2020 By Allie Griffin
Two babies died Friday after they were found unconscious at an East Elmhurst homeless shelter.
Police officers, responding to a 911 call, found the babies, a twin boy and girl around 2 months old, unconscious and unresponsive inside the lobby of The Landing family shelter, located at 94-00 Ditmars Blvd, at 3:42 p.m. on Jan. 10.
EMS rushed the infants to NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst, where they were pronounced dead, police said.
No arrests have been made and the investigation remains ongoing, police said. The New York City Medical Examiner will determine the cause of death.
The infants’ father told police he had put them down for a nap and found them unconscious when he returned, according to reports.
According to Eyewitness News, the infants were both in cardiac arrest when police responded to the scene.
A fundraiser was set up Saturday to pay for the funeral and burial costs of the twins.
“Liyam and Liyah, twins 2 months old, unexpectedly passed away,” the gofundme page reads. “As the family, our hearts are heavy as we prepare to find the means to lay these Angels to rest.”
There were no signs of criminality in connection to their deaths and the infants’ parents have been released from police questioning, according to the New York Post, which quoted a law enforcement source.
The family shelter where the twins lived opened in 2015 and was converted from a former Clarion Hotel. The 169-family shelter is privately run by CAMBA and funded by the City.
Following the twin infants’ deaths, Council Member Francisco Moya called for an investigation into the security and safety practices at The Landing homeless shelter.
“My heart breaks for the loss of these children, a boy and a girl who were just two-months old and had their entire lives ahead of them,” Moya said. “This tragedy marks the second and third deaths tied to The Landing in just two months.”
In November, a 38-year-old man was fatally stabbed outside the shelter.
“With shelter should come safety but residents and neighbors of The Landing have concerns and deserve answers about what is happening inside the facility,” Moya added. “That’s why I’m calling for a full investigation into the security practices at this shelter.”