Lafayette daycare owner charged in connection with 1-year-old’s death

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Debra Keyes

UPDATE: Debra Keyes pleaded guilty to reckless supervision by a child care provider (Level 6 Felony) and operating a child care home without a license (Class B misdemeanor) on Jan. 23, 2017. She will be sentenced on March 22, 2017. 

LAFAYETTE, Ind.– The Tippecanoe County Prosecutor’s office filed charges Thursday against a daycare owner in connection with the death of a 1-year-old.

Debra Keyes faces charges of reckless supervision by a child care provider and operating a child care home without a licence.

Police responded to the home daycare in the 1700 block of Shenandoah Drive on April 25 on a report of an  unresponsive baby. The child was taken to St. Elizabeth hospital and later died.

The coroner says the child suffocated. Court documents show the crib the child had been sleeping in was broken.

Prosecutors say the daycare was operating illegally at the time.  According to court documents, Keyes had 13 children in her care at the time and she did not have a license. Two of the children were related to her. Four children were less than 16 months old.

Indiana code states a daycare can only operate without a license if care is provided for less than six non-related children or if care is provided for migrant children.