State: Unlicensed home Carmel day care shut down after baby dies, workers test positive for drugs

Police: Owner, daughter test positive for pot

CARMEL, Ind. - An unlicensed day care in Carmel has been shut down after an infant died and two caregivers tested positive for drugs, the state said.

Stacey Cox Child Care, an in-home day care at 421 West Main St., was issued a cease and desist order Thursday.

The move comes after a 5-month-old infant was found not breathing in a broken collapsible crib during day care hours Jan. 24, police said.

Day care owner Stacey Cox and employee Kirsten Phillips, who is Cox's daughter, were supposed to be watching the infant at the time, and both tested positive for marijuana later that day, police said.

Other health and safety concerns include sleeping children left unattended in the home's basement and space heaters and a gallon of bleach on the floor within reach of young children, the state said.

Documented problems at the day care date back to September 2012.

Stacey Cox Child Care was also operating illegally, caring for more than five unrelated children at a time and accepting additional children as of earlier this month, the state said.

"We are available to care for children from birth to five-years-old, and we currently have 7 girls and 4 boys, ages ranging from 5 months up to five-years-old," the day care's website reads. "We have a 6:1 adult-to-child ratio, which enables us to watch a maximum of 12 children."

Under the order, Cox, Phillips and the Stacey Cox Child Care must cease and desist from providing any 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," Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller said in a news release. "The Attorney General's Office is working closely with our client FSSA (Indiana Family and Social Services Administration) in taking legal actions necessary to bring a halt to such violations."

Carmel police is handling the criminal investigation. Officials declined to comment Friday.

FSSA cracked down on 51 day cares last year, revoking licenses for 34 licensed homes, six licensed centers and revoked registrations for 11 ministries.

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