INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An Indianapolis daycare owner and one of her employees faced criminal charges Wednesday following the death of an 11-month-old girl who was strapped into a car seat and left alone in an empty room.
Jacqueline Murray, owner of Miracles and Blessings Daycare Ministry, and employee Karen Tharpe each were charged with neglect causing death, Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry said at a news conference.
The girl, Taliah Brigham, was not properly strapped into the car seat on April 6 and slid and was strangled, Curry said.
“A car seat is not the best way to secure your child unless you are in a car,” Curry said.
Four daycare workers were monitoring children at the beginning of the day, a probable cause affidavit said, but one left to care for a sick child. Later, Murray and another employee left to pick up children from area schools, leaving Tharpe as the only person supervising 36 children, the affidavit says.
“Because the children were spread out over three rooms, it would have been impossible for one employee to visually see all of the children,” the affidavit said.
Police officers rushed into the Speedway day care and found an employee standing over Taliah, rubbing her abdomen, court documents say. The girl was blue, and not breathing. First responders rushed her to a hospital, where she died the next day.
Neither Murray nor Tharpe had a working, published home telephone number, and they could not be reached for comment. The daycare’s telephone was disconnected.
Neither Tharpe nor Murray had been booked into the Marion County Jail as of Wednesday afternoon, online records showed.
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