Plainfield woman operating ‘illegal’ day care charged in death of 16-month-old

PLAINFIELD, Ind. –Plainfield police filed charges this week against a day care owner in connection with the death of a toddler.

The toddler was found unresponsive at the home of Melanie Messer, 44, on August 8. She was transported to Riley Hospital, and investigators were called to the hospital after discovering she had severe brain injuries.

She underwent surgery for her injuries, but she later died on August 11. The Marion County Coroner’s Office joined the investigation after the child’s death.

Investigators conducted several interviews and executed a search warrant at the Messer’s home where several items were collected.

The Department of Child Services says the in-home day care was operating illegally, and Messer had previously been told to stop or get licensed with the state.

After a thorough investigation, reports were submitted to the Hendricks County Prosecutor’s Office which resulted in charges being filed against Messer for felony aggravated battery resulting in death of a child.

According to police, Messer was arrested when she turned herself in this afternoon.