• Cruz, who struggled with addiction, is said to have died of drug overdose
  • Officers, who found the body, saw kids on the front lawn and driveway
  • No criminal charges have been filed in connection with the incident

A daycare in Boston has shut down after a decomposed body of a man was found inside the building which housed the facility. The owner of the Small People Daycare in Leominster has since surrendered her license to operate the center.

According to a report from Leominster Police Department, the body of 35-year-old Robert Guzman Cruz was found on May 18 in a bedroom on the first floor of the building on 76 Lancaster Street. Cruz was last seen entering the house three days before he was found dead, Boston 25 News reported.

Cruz's sister reportedly told police that he suffered from cocaine and heroin addiction in the past. He is thought to have died from an overdose.

His sister added that Cruz had recently sought treatment for his addiction, and had been hospitalized for a drug overdose just two weeks earlier.

The police record noted that when officers arrived at the scene, they found that the residence was "an active daycare facility with many child-related toys and play stations", and "small children were milling about on the front lawn and driveway," according to a Boston Globe report.

Officers said that the only thing that separated a person's access to the daycare at that time was a small child's gate with no locking mechanism.

The report said that "possible drug-related overdose by a person renting a bedroom on the same floor and vicinity of a daycare center was both concerning and suspicious." However, no criminal charges were filed in connection with the incident.

Meanwhile, Maria Pimenta DaSilva, owner of the daycare, told Boston 25 that Cruz had recently started subletting the first-floor bedroom just down the hall from the area of the house that was licensed for childcare.

According to her, he didn’t have any access or contact with any of the five children she cared for. DaSilva added that she didn't know him well or the fact that he struggled with drug addiction.

A spokesperson of the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care told Boston 25 that an in-person inspection of the daycare was done in September 2020 and no serious violations were found.

The state law mandates that “anyone 15 and older who lives or regularly visits a daycare to have a background or Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) check.” However, there was no CORI on file for Guzman Cruz.

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