She wasn’t even the first child to die after being in her care this year, according to police.
A daycare owner has been charged with killing a two-year-old girl five months after she mysteriously died while in her care.
Kaylee Thomas’s death at the home of Jessica Anne Cherry on August 18, 2020 had been ruled indeterminate; but on Tuesday the Chief Medical Examiner finally declared it a homicide, leading detectives to immediately arrest and charge the 37-year-old with second degree murder.
After the toddler died, police obtained a search warrant and discovered a Ring camera inside the daycare had been moved so that it faced a television screen.
But upon closer inspection, prosecutors claimed they could see several disturbing instances of abuse of other children the week before, caught in the screen’s reflection.
Police said they could make out Cherry covering an infant’s nose and mouth tightly with a cloth, and then abandoning him alone in a room.
In another instance, they said they saw Cherry slapping an infant; audio of the child crying in pain could be heard in the court when the video was played during a bond hearing, WAVY reported.
As a result, Cherry was charged with two counts of gross wanton or reckless care for a child, two counts of endangerment cruelty or injuries to children, stab/cut wounds with malicious intent and attempted malicious wounding — but faced no charges in the death of Kaylee.
It also emerged during that hearing that Kaylee wasn’t even the first child to die in Cherry’s care that year; the prosecutor mentioned she was being investigated after a one-year-old boy was found unresponsive at her home on January 16 last year. He died at hospital four days later.
Per WAVY, Cherry’s attorney and a Norfolk Juvenile Domestic Relations Court judge objected to the other child’s death being mentioned in court; however the broadcaster confirmed the investigation with Norfolk PD.
The cause and manner of his death have not been revealed, and no one has been charged.