Carmel daycare client “sickened” by infant’s death, alleged marijuana use by caregivers

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

A cease and desist notice now greets anyone who visits the Stacy Cox Daycare in Carmel.  However, just three weeks ago, Stacy Cox, who ran the daycare out of her home, was working with her daughter Kirsten Phillips, when a 5-month-old boy died while in their care.

“It sickens me,” said daycare customer Lindsay Duke. “Completely sickens me.”

Duke’s nearly 2-year-old son, Brysen, was at the daycare the day the boy died. In fact, she received a photo from Cox that morning, showing her son and the other children. Phillips is in the middle holding the boy who later died.

Duke said she never received a message or call about the death.

“I never got contacted to come pick [my son] up,” said Duke. “If there wasn’t a parent that ran outside and told me, I wouldn’t have known what happened for probably another five days, is when she finally contacted me.”

Duke said when Cox contacted her, she told her the baby “sort of died of SIDS…sort of.”

According to court documents, Phillips told a Department of Child Services investigator that “the infant had been found on his stomach.  She placed him in the crib for his nap, on his back, and to her knowledge, he was not yet capable of rolling himself over.”

The baby was sleeping in a collapsible crib, which investigators found to be broken.

However, that is not all. Investigators found “Cox and Phillips who were supposed to be watching the infant… were under the influence of marijuana.”

Duke said she is not surprised.

“She just had the look like she was under the influence,” said Duke. “You know, her eyes were really heavy, and it was always, ‘I’m so tired. I’m just so tired.'”

Duke said she now questions everything, including apparent bites her son suffered months ago.

“He’s had a bite mark on his chest, where there is no skin, and then he’s had bit marks on his back,” said Duke.

Duke wasn’t the only parent who grew concerned about biting.  State investigators began‪ looking into the daycare in September after a similar report of an 8-month-old baby with bite marks on her face and neck.

‪Then, the state returned to the home multiple times in October, warning Cox she needed to get a license because she cared for too many children.

Though cox never obtained a license, Duke said Cox told her and other parents that she was licensed.

“Everything on that article was a lie of what she’s told me,” said Duke.

Since the death, the Carmel Police Department sent in an undercover officer, who‪ saw two children unattended in high chairs, bleach next to the refrigerator and two space heaters, one of which was covered in a metal cage close to the couch.

An agent with the Bureau of Child Care paid a visit to make sure the daycare was finally following the rules and closed.  However, Duke still can’t help but wonder how much harm was done.

“I don’t know how long my son had to witness it,” said Duke. “I don’t know how… I mean, then you start to think so many other things like, were these bite marks caused from something else… and you don’t know. You don’t know.”

Cox and Phillips will have a civil hearing this week.  Meanwhile, Carmel police continue to investigate possible criminal charges.

17 comments

  • ClanSmokeJaguar

    >“She just had the look like she was under the influence,” said Duke.

    Hmmm…and let she continued to send her child to the daycare with suspicions like this.

    Dumb azz!

    • Amanda

      I was thinking the same thing!!! And came on here to comment.I’m sorry but if I suspect something w someone watching my child I would pull him out in a heartbeat! Missing a day or so of work is not as much of an issues as my child being in harm and possibly not living.

  • Kat

    you can smoke MJ and still care for children (not that you SHOULD), this was more of a case of irresponsible caretakers. The drugs just exacerbated it.

    • cjmo2662

      Sorry, but they were a little worse than irresponsible; too many dangerous things where the kids could reach; imagine if 1 of them ingested bleach or splashed it in their eyes. Or got burns from the space heaters. I do have to wonder why anyone would take their kids back to a daycare after seeing multiple bite marks…

  • Melissa

    I was thinking the same thing. If you have thoughts that something was not right then why keep taking your child there.

  • IndyMike

    “He’s had a bite mark on his chest, where there is no skin, and then he’s had bit marks on his back,” said Duke.

    Where exactly would that be "where there is no skin?" How many bite marks does it take to raise some concern?

  • Sarah

    UUUUMMMMMM………..you thought your child's caregiver was high and you continued to leave him there??? Ms Duke is an idiot

    • cindy

      That was my first thought also, that don't say a lot for her as a mother to me anyway…. That would be your first sign to get a new care giver if you think the one you have now is on drugs! come on now.

  • karen

    Lyndsay is a good mom . she stated that after the incident she began to question things that had happened before to Brysen. im sure they were explained by the caregivers and she at that time had no reason to believe otherwise. stop being so mean bout the mom. Lets focus on the real problem here….a baby died while in the care of these two women….thats what the story was about in the first place.

  • SLM987

    The first person to report this day"care" with the 8 month old had multiple major bite marks, some bleeding.They pulled her out that day, took her to the doctor, and filed a police report & complaints with the Atty. General and CPS. That led to the original investigation and restrictions they ignored. Not only did they ignore them, they did NOTHING to even attempt to fix the unsafe conditions, along with smoking pot.
    These kids were neglected and ignored. This baby didnt get those bites in a few seconds, and I guarantee you she was crying and or screaming as it happened. They were clearly bite marks. Yet Stacey Cox called them and told them the baby may have had an allergic reaction to something.
    These people need shut down forever and they deserve criminal charges.
    Karen is right, stop blaming the parents. What seems so obvious now all these facts are out there might not have been so obvious at the time. And I don't care if you think you are capable of caring for a child or multiple children while high on pot, I am quite sure you are MORE capable of caring for them not on it. Regardless of the fact that it's illegal, just like their whole operation.

  • John

    There is no remorse shown by the people who own , run this daycare. No taking of any responsibilty on anyones part when it comes to either not shutting this place down immediatley back in October , or the sick fact that they continued to do what they wanted with a bunch of children even after Conor's death, until someone pushed the right piece of paper through to finally stop this woman from hurting someone elses child. I wish when a questioned is asked, and an answer givin. It would be a correct answer printed. SIDS brought on by……………???? There is more to this

    • SLM987

      I completely agree. There are several things that can increase that chances of a SIDS death. SIDS does not mean their negligance couldn't have increased risk and contributed to the death. While I don't think it was their intention to kill a baby they clearly didn't care about the law or regulations put in place to protect children. Heck they weren't even supposed to be operating. There isn't enough info to say whether they contributed to increasing the risk of SIDS, but my benefit of the doubt defnitely won't go to them. I would be willing to guess the broken pack & play may have played a role since it has been pointed out on so many articles.

  • Sickofthem

    The only way they could know these two women were under the influence of pot is if the women admitted they smoked it that day. That stuff stays in your system for up to 45 days. I'm not condoning smoking while running a day care I am just saying as usual the police and the media are full of crap. Both wanting to trump up the facts to make the case look worse than it is. The more charges the more you will want hear the story, true or not and the more charges the clowns with the badges think it makes them look better. Truth!

  • Judy

    Sorry the mother with the 2 year old may be a good mother but I would have hunted anoter care provider pretty fast, I'm a single mom and had to work also but when my son came up with bruises more than once that were from a 'fall' I hunted another provider pretty fast, these always showed up when she had him on the weekend and her husband was home, my first clue was she didn't want to watch him on the weekend anymore. and by the way sickofthem, how can you make this case look worse than it was, whether it be the police or the media, a child lost his life and now a families life has changed forever, sounds like you must be a sicko yourself

Comments are closed.