ATHENS TOWNSHIP, Pa. (WETM) – Kelly Jo Lee is facing 13 charges after a three-month-old child died on May 2 at an unregulated daycare she owns.
Lee faces 11 counts of endangering the welfare of a child, one count of obstruction, and one count of tampering with evidence.
According to court documents, on May 2, 2019, officers responded to a call for an unresponsive male infant on Wilawana Road.
Lee, 49, told police that she had given the infant a bottle of formula and laid him down in a crib. When the boy’s father came to pick him up, Lee found the infant limp. They performed “back blows” on the baby, and a combination of blood and formula came out of the infant’s mouth.
The infant was taken to Robert Packer Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Kelly later told police she lied about how the infant was sleeping, saying he fell asleep in her arms and she placed him on a bed and positioned him on his left side and put a pillow behind his back. She later found him face down on the bed with blood on his face, and that she hid a blanket with the child’s blood on it.
Kelly told police she “knows it is recommended infants are required to sleep on their backs but she disagrees and won’t do that,” and that she was not licensed in Pennsylvania as a childcare provider, nor did she have CRP or basic first aid that is required by law.
Under the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services requirements for out of home care provided, the facility shall be approved when seven or more children not related to the care provider and are 15 years or younger in any part of a 24-hour period.
There were 11 children 4 years old or younger in the home at the time, and only one was a relative of Kelly’s. She was also advised of 15 violations of the Pennsylvania Child Day Care Center General requirements, including a lack of insurance, emergency plans, and first aid training.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Nov. 19 with Magisterial District Judge Larry Hurley. Bail was set at $100,000.