Parents speak out after 5-month-old infant dies at day care

Two day care workers in Virginia are facing child neglect charges following the death of a five-month-old earlier this year.
Published: Jul. 13, 2023 at 8:28 AM EDT
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KING GEORGE COUNTY, Va. (WWBT/Gray News) - Two day care workers in the Northern Neck are facing child neglect charges following the death of a 5-month-old earlier this year.

On Feb. 21 at 2:15 p.m., the King George County Sheriff’s Office received a call on an infant CPR in progress from C&A Daycare and Preschool.

Law enforcement and EMS responded, and the child was found unresponsive and taken to the hospital. The child was later pronounced dead.

“He was just the perfect little sweet baby. He was just starting to really laugh and really just growing into himself,” said Kasey Hamlet, the child’s mother.

Hamlet said she remembers Feb. 21 as a typical day until her phone began ringing that afternoon.

“I got a phone call from the day care owner who said, ‘You need to get here right now. It’s an emergency,’” Hamlet said. “I said, ‘What happened?’ and she said, ‘Maxx isn’t breathing.’”

Hamlet said she rushed over to the day care to see CPR being performed on Maxx and later learned he had died.

Hamlet said for weeks, she was left wondering what happened to Maxx until she learned charges were being filed against two day care workers.

“So at that point, I knew that something bad had happened or something warranting them to be charged,” Hamlet said. “They wouldn’t tell me what, so I still had no idea why.”

Toward the end of May, Hamlet said the medical examiner ruled Maxx’s death as complications from COVID, but she said her son never showed any signs of being sick.

“It was just kind of surprising that he could go from being perfectly fine, no distress breathing, not even any congestion, to that causing him to pass away,” Hamlet said.

Almost a month later, the two day care workers had their preliminary hearing in court, where evidence was presented for child neglect.

“That’s when we learned that he was swaddled, placed on his stomach, had two blankets on him, and then was left alone and not checked on for over three hours,” Hamlet said.

According to a Department of Social Services report, an inspection done following Maxx’s death found the day care to have more than 20 violations, including failure to ensure a child’s care, protection and guidance.

Another violation states that the center failed to ensure children under 10 years of age are always within sight of supervision staff.

“To me, ruthless, heinous activity comes to mind when I think of not checking on an infant for three hours or abusing a kid that can’t help himself or can’t come home and tell his mom and dad,” said Trevin Wilson, Maxx’s dad.

As the child care center remains in operation, Maxx’s parents said they want other parents to know their story so it doesn’t happen again.

“All parents need and deserve to have the right to know it’s their kid, what happened to their kid and the actions that they can do to press charges as well,” Wilson said.

According to the sheriff’s office, the infant care portion of the daycare has been suspended following the incident.