MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) — The death of a 1-year-old baby at a Muskegon day care has led to the day care provider being behind bars and facing a felony with a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.
The day care known as Kesha’s Keepers is now closed and surrounded by caution tape warning of lead hazards. Meanwhile, the woman whose name is on the day care license is in jail awaiting her day in court.
The Muskegon County Prosecutor’s Office has charged Keysha Michelle Collins, 49, with child neglect in the second degree for the April death of Korey Brown.
“In my multiple conversations with the victim’s family, it was my opinion that there was some criminal culpability on the part of the day care provider,” said Muskegon County Prosecutor D.J. Hilson.
The prosecutor says Collins, who was a licensed day care provider, violated a number of licensing requirements when Korey died, including sleeping while children were known to be awake, having too many children without help from another adult and not providing proper sleep accommodations for the children.
“Because of her neglect in following some of the licensing rules that are required for day care provider, that ended up in the result of the death of this young child,” Hilson said.
On April 14, Korey was discovered dead by his mother when she came to pick him up. She told 24 Hour News 8 that night that he also had bruises and bite marks on his body and head.
Police believe Korey was killed overnight as Collins was sleeping on the same floor of the home as the kids.
Investigations indicate Korey started crying while Collins was sleeping, which apparently led an 8-year-old girl who was also at the day care to have “contact” with him.
Collins turned herself into police Friday and was booked into the county jail on $10,000 bond awaiting arraignment. She is charged with a 10-year felony.
“It’s a relatively new statute that was enacted in April of this year,” Hilson said.
The new law stems from an incident in February 2015 when 3-month-old Cooper Fales died at a Kentwood day care where the provider had violated numerous day care rules, but could not be criminally prosecuted.
Armed with the new statute, Hilson hopes others take note.
“If you’re going to engage in this business, you have to do so at 110 percent, you have to make sure that you’re following every single rule and that nothing is left to chance,” Hilson said.
Meanwhile, investigators are waiting for forensics and evidence from the Michigan State Police Crime Lab before moving forward on this tragic, and perhaps utterly avoidable tragedy.
–24 Hour News 8 web staff contributed to this story.