State of Indiana shuts down Carmel daycare after baby's death
An unlicensed Carmel daycare has been ordered to cease operations after a baby died there last month and the child's caregivers tested positive for marijuana.
The Indiana attorney general's office filed legal action Thursday in Hamilton County against Stacey Cox Child Care on West Main Street in Carmel.
The business, owned by Stacey Cox, faces an emergency restraining order, preliminary and permanent injunctions and civil penalties. Cox's daughter, Kirsten Phillips, is also named as working at the daycare.
A five-month-old boy died at the daycare operated out of Cox's home on Jan. 24th. The baby was found not breathing in a broken collapsible crib, and Cox and Phillips, who were supposed to be watching the infant, underwent a drug screen later that day and tested positive for marijuana use.
Detectives said the women "intended to continue operating, despite the fact that a five-month-old infant died in their care and while marijuana was in their bodies."
Phillips told investigators she put the baby in his crib for a nap, saying "she had placed him on his back and to her knowledge, he was not capable of rolling himself over."
The facility had been under investigation since last October for a number of violations, including leaving a bottle of bleach and running space heaters in reach of young children, leaving children unattended in the basement and operating without a license.
You can operate an in-home daycare in Indiana without a license, but only if you're keeping five or fewer unrelated children. Eyewitness News found on Cox's website that she was keeping 11 children and advertising openings for more.
Under the court order, Cox and Phillips must stop providing child care for any children unrelated to them, pending a hearing next week.
"The facts of this case are disturbing and because of the danger, the State clearly had to act to protect other young children in the care of these individuals. The Attorney General's Office is working closely with our client FSSA in taking legal actions necessary to bring a halt to such violations," Zoeller said.
Cox and her daughter have not been charged with any crimes, but Carmel Police are still investigating the infant's death.