San Jose mother-daughter daycare operators speak out after toddlers drown in pool

A mother and daughter who owned a San Jose daycare are speaking out for the first time about two toddlers drowning in their pool.

Shahin Gheblehshenas, 64, and Nina Fathizadeh, 41, both of San Jose, gave an exclusive statement through their attorneys to the Bay Area News Group ahead of their court hearing on Friday.  

"While our clients understand the immense grief and pain experienced by the families of the deceased toddlers, they recognize that their own sorrow is only a fraction of the unimaginable loss suffered by the bereaved parents," the statement reads. "No words from our clients can alleviate the profound suffering of the affected families, but they extend their deepest sympathies during this incredibly tough time."

Mother and daughter have not yet entered a plea. 

They are being charged with felony neglect that resulted in the death of Payton Cobb of Hollister, 18 months, and Lillian Hanan of San Jose, 16 months. on Oct. 2 at their Happy Happy Home Daycare. 

A 2-year-old also fell in the pool but survived.

San Jose police and the Santa Clara County prosecutors determined that the three children were unsupervised in a rear patio play area while Fathizadeh was making breakfast. The site was supposed to have at least two people watching the children, but a daycare worker called in sick that morning.

Detectives also found that the gate for a five-foot-tall fence that surrounded the pool had been left open.