New Port Richey Marine to bury infant son

Posted at 4:35 PM, Feb 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-22 16:37:36-05

A U.S. Marine from New Port Richey, who is stationed in California, will bury his 4-month-old son who died from SIDS.

Zaiden's funeral will be held this Tuesdaywith a public viewing at 9:30 AM at the Dobies Funeral Home in New Port Richey.

The family will be having two services, a traditional Catholic service at 10:00 AM and a Christian service at 11:30 AM.

At 1:00 PM, the family will be leaving to the Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell

All are welcome to join, the family says.   Per the request of Giovanni and Kayla Perez, Zaiden's parents, they ask that you don't feel obligated to wear the traditional, all-black attire, but instead bright colors, as they celebrate Baby Z's life.

The Perez family spoke to ABC Action News overFacetime last Wednesday.

They were having trouble funding the family's trip back to Florida.

Since then, they have received $14,500 in donations.

The family now wants to raise awareness about SIDS in hopes other parents never experience their pain.


A Bay area soldier stationed in California is grieving the loss of his 4-month-old son, Zaiden. 

According to family members, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is to blame.

Kayla Perez told ABC Action News she put Zaiden to bed Saturday night.

I went to go wake Zaiden up. He slept in later than usual but I didn't think anything of it because he did it a few times," said Kayla.  "When I opened the door he didn't pop his little head up.  So, I started calling his name as I walked towards him. He didn't move. I pulled the blanket off his back and he was white. He was so cold.
I ran down stairs to call my husband. I then called 911."

According to Kayla, she pulled Zaiden out of his crib tried performing CPR but Zaiden was unresponsive.

"I knew it was too late but I had to try. I tried to breathe in his mouth. He was purple. He was stiff. He was stuck in a sleeping position. Ankles crossed. His hands in fists on either side of his head," she explained

Kayla says Zaiden was not lying face down but had his head tilted.

Kayla told ABC Action News during the time she was performing CPR, vomit was coming out of Zaiden's mouth.

"We prayed for this boy. God needed him more I guess." she said.

Kayla and her husband, Giovanni, are natives of Pasco County.

The family is currently stationed in California.  Giovanni serves in the U.S. Marines.

They have two other children.

Funeral arrangements are pending but the family is trying to bury Zaiden in New Port Richey.

They've created a GoFundMe page to help them cover the costs of travel and burial expenses.

To donate, click here .


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 3,500 U.S. infants die suddenly and unexpectedly each year.

Although the causes of death in many of these children can’t be explained, most occur while the infant is sleeping in an unsafe sleeping environment.

Researchers can’t be sure how often these deaths happen because of accidental suffocation from soft bedding or overlay (another person rolling on top of or against the infant while sleeping). Often, no one sees these deaths, and there are no tests to tell sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) apart from suffocation, the CDC reports.

A thorough case investigation includes:

  • An examination of the death scene.
  • An autopsy (medical examination of the body after death).
  • A review of the infant’s medical history.

Most SUIDs are reported as one of three types of infant deaths.

Per the CDC website:

Types of SUID

  • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
    SIDS is defined as the sudden death of an infant less than 1 year of age that cannot be explained after a thorough investigation is conducted, including a complete autopsy, examination of the death scene, and a review of the clinical history. About 1,500 infants died of SIDS in 2014. SIDS is the leading cause of death in infants 1 to 12 months old.
  • Unknown Cause
    The sudden death of an infant less than 1 year of age that cannot be explained because a thorough investigation was not conducted and cause of death could not be determined.
  • Accidental Suffocation and Strangulation in Bed
    Mechanisms that lead to accidental suffocation include:
    • Suffocation by soft bedding—for example, when a pillow or waterbed mattress covers an infant's nose and mouth.
    • Overlay—for example, when another person rolls on top of or against the infant while sleeping.
    • Wedging or entrapment—for example, when an infant is wedged between two objects such as a mattress and wall, bed frame, or furniture.
    • Strangulation—for example, when an infant’s head and neck become caught between crib railings.

Even after a thorough investigation, it is hard to tell SIDS apart from other sleep-related infant deaths such as overlay or suffocation in soft bedding. While an observed overlay may be considered an explained infant death, no autopsy tests can tell for certain that suffocation was the cause of death.