WATERLOO — The family of a toddler who died Monday after falling from a carnival ride in Mexico was not on her mother’s lap during the ride, the child’s family said.
Marlene Cuauhtenango, the aunt of Jenessy “Sophia” Villalpando, 3, of Waterloo, said media reports in Mexico that the girl fell from her mother’s lap are not accurate.
“The mother and child were both on the ride. We don’t know exactly what went wrong. We were told my niece wasn’t buckled right. She was ejected/slipped from her seat,” Cuauhtenango wrote in an email to The Courier.
The girl is the daughter of Julissa Villalpando and grandchild of Ruben Villalpando, who owns El Sol Mexican Restuarant in Waverly and El Senor Tequila Nightclub in Waterloo.
The Courier quoted an article in El Sol de Tijuana in explaining how the child fell to her death Monday.
The family has a GoFundMe page set up to help with expenses in bringing the girl and her family back to the United States. Sophia and her family were vacationing in Mexico with relatives when they visited the carnival in Penjamo in central Mexico.