5-month-old dies after day care incident, Ohio cops say. Provider charged with murder

A day care provider is facing murder charges in connection to a 5-month-old’s death in her care, Ohio police said.

Tammra Rose Straughter, 51, of Reynoldsburg was indicted on charges of murder and endangering children, according to court documents.

The 5-month-old boy died while in the care of Straughter on Oct. 9, according to Reynoldsburg police.

At the time of the incident, “Straughter was operating an in-home child care service at her home,” police said.

Straughter told police she laid the “fussy” baby on his back and, when she returned, he appeared to be aspirating on his spit up, so she attempted to clear his airways, WBNS reported.

Medics were called to the house on reports of a child who was not breathing and, after an evaluation, said he was in “normal condition,” WBNS reported, citing an affidavit.

After being sent home with his mother, the baby was taken to urgent care before being transported to a hospital, according to the Ohio TV station.

The infant — a twin — went into cardiac arrest for 45 minutes and suffered from “multiple devastating brain injuries with bleeding, swelling and shifting of the brain, fractures on both sides of his jaw, bleeding in the eyes, ruptured lungs, unreactive pupils, bruising to the scalp, abdomen, chin, neck, back, lower legs, arms, hands, feet and lip,” WBNS reported, citing court documents.

The baby’s death was ruled a homicide by the Franklin County Coroner’s Office, with head injury as the cause, according to The Columbus Dispatch.

Straughter was arrested Feb. 24, according to police.

She is being held at the Franklin County Jail, with her arraignment hearing scheduled for Feb. 28, according to The Columbus Dispatch.

McClatchy News was unable to locate attorney information for Straughter.

It is not clear from available records how many children Straughter was caring for at the time of the incident or if she was operating her child care services legally.

There is no record of Straughter being a licensed or certified child care provider, according to the Ohio Department of Children and Youth.

But it’s possible Straughter was still legally providing child care. In Ohio, anyone can provide care for no more than six children or no more than three children under the age of 2 years in their home without a license, according to the Ohio Department of Children and Youth.

“If they are operating legally and not licensed, providers are not required to report to the Department of Children and Youth,” a department spokesperson said.

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