Plainfield woman operating ‘illegal’ day care sentenced in connection with toddler’s death

Melanie Messer

PLAINFIELD, Ind.– The former owner of an in-home day care in Plainfield received her sentence in connection with the death of a child.

Melanie Messer was sentenced to 30 years Thursday for aggravated battery. Twenty years will be served in the Indiana Department of Correction and the remaining ten years will be served on probation.

The 16-month-old child unresponsive at Messer’s home in the 1100 block of East Hadley Road on Aug. 8, 2016. She was transported to the hospital with a severe brain injury. Three days later, she died.

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

Messer told FOX59 after the child’s death that she was a family member and the incident was “hard on everyone.”

She pleaded guilty in the case on April 4, 2018.

On Thursday, the toddler’s grandmother Lori Arnett said she’s thankful that justice is being served.

“No one was a winner today. Two families lost a part of their family today. The judge was fair in her decision and seen the same things our family seen– that there wasn’t any, no kind of remorse coming from her,” Arnett said.