Day Care Workers Charged After Infant’s Car Seat Asphyxiation Death

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Courtesy WISH

INDIANAPOLIS — An Indianapolis daycare owner and one of her employees face neglect charges following the death of an 11-month-old girl who died after she was strapped into a car seat and left alone in an empty room.

Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry said Wednesday that Miracles and Blessings Daycare Ministry owner Jacqueline Murray and employee Karen Tharpe each have been charged with neglect causing death.

He says Taliah Brigham was not properly strapped into the seat on April 6, slid down, and was strangled. Prosecutors say a car seat shouldn’t have been used to seat the child indoors, and allege her chest buckle was secured, but the safety belt that fit between her legs was left unbuckled.

Her death was determined to be a result of “mechanical asphyxiation,” according to the Indy Star.

Court records allege Murray left Tharpe alone with 36 children in three different rooms. Tharpe then strapped Taliah into an infant car seat and left her alone.

Prosecutors say she left the child unattended for about five minutes, the paper reports.

“I certainly would anticipate every single parent who would bring their child to  a daycare center – this daycare center – would be appalled to find out one person was left in charge of 36 children who were then in three different rooms,” Curry said Wednesday.

Neither woman has a connected, published home telephone number, and they could not be reached for comment. The daycare’s telephone was disconnected.