Coroner: Baby found deceased at unlicensed Carmel daycare died of SIDS

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A 5-month-old boy who was found deceased at an unlicensed daycare in Carmel, Ind. died from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), confirmed the Hamilton County Coroner’s Office.

The coroner stated the infant, Conor Tilson, was left on his back but was later discovered laying on front.  The boy had no signs of trauma and there was nothing to indicate the infant was abused.

SIDS is the unexpected and sudden death of a child under the age of 1.  Although an autopsy does not show the exact cause of death, a baby is more likely at risk if they sleep on their stomach.

Tilson was pronounced dead on Jan. 24 after he was found unresponsive in a broken, portable crib at Stacy Cox Child Care. That same day, Cox and her daughter Kristen Phillips, another daycare operator, tested positive for marijuana, according to police.

Fox59 learned the child care center received several warnings from state investigators that it was illegal to care for more than five children without obtaining a license.  Other health and safety issues were also cited in the complaint, including sleeping children left unattended in the home’s basement by the caregivers and space heaters and a gallon container of bleach within reach of young children.

On Feb. 14, the Office of the Indiana Attorney General filed an emergency restraining order Thursday, requiring the daycare to cease operating pending a court hearing.

Cox could face up to $100 in penalties for each day she ran the daycare illegally.


  • Cheech

    Why do they act like it is such a horrible thing that they tested positive for marijuana? everybody smokes and if they would legalize it the economy wouldn't be so fucked!

      • Lindsey

        If she tested positive for MJ, then she smoked in what…the last 30 days? It does not mean she was smoking while taking care (or not taking care) of the children.

      • Guest

        Not the same symptoms? Really? And the effects, not "the symptoms", of both substances ARE the same. You can consult any high school health class textbook for confirmation on that one. The judgement, reaction times and general awareness of surroundings of users in both cases are far more affected than non-users. I am a firm believer in legalization. doesn't mean I want my babysitter drunk OR high when on the job.

    • Brandi

      I'm 33 and I dont smoke pot nor have I ever. I'm strong enough to deal with everyday life and everyday stress without needing something to temporarily mask it. If your life is that bad to where you need to smoke so you can "deal" with stuff….go see a counselor.

      • StevenH

        I'm 34, and I have smoked a few times. But haven't in years, I just don't like any drugs being in my system. With that being said, your post Brandi is fricken retarded. By your standards, if you have ever drank alcohol, then you should seek a counselor. Alcohol is 50 times more horrible and "masking" for you than marijuana is. Even social drinkers do it to enhance their fun at that moment, I bet you can't say you've never drank. Stop being so judgmental.

    • ClanSmokeJaguar

      Maybe if she wasn't high she would've observed the crib was broken, the baby was on his belly, and was not breathing.

      • CLK

        Marijuana can stay in a person system for up to 30 days. While I don't condone the fact she ran an unlicensed daycare, there is nothing that states she smoked a joint that same day. While it's a tragedy that an innocent baby died, fact is infants do pass away from SIDS. My friend's lost their child to SIDS in a babysitters home as well. Unfortunately it happens. Even if he was placed on his back, he was five months old, the age at which they begin to roll from their back to their stomachs. It had nothing to do with her crib. While I fee she should be monetarily responsible to bay fines for running an unlicensed daycare, accidents do happen. Read the facts first before you start jumping on the judgmental band wagon.

      • ClanSmokeJaguar

        >stay in a person system for up to 30 days.

        For the person who takes a toke here and there, it won't. Habitual users…YES…it does stay in the system for 30+ days.

        And I have read the facts. The facts are)

        a) They like to get high and chances are they did so before or during the day of the death.
        b) They were told to cease and desist multiple times despite having a place dangerous to toddlers.
        c) They had the child in a broken up portable crib which itself is pretty dangerous.
        d) The owner stated she will continue to run her daycare despite the above.
        e) Based off the above we're being asked to believe their version of the events.

        lol…especially at FACT "E"

    • OurNewz

      To you and all the rest of the pro pot posters, utilize what brain cells you have left and do some research. Pot tests will pop positive for SINGLE use in urine 1 to 7 days and blood 12-24 hours. Pot DAMAGES children's brains. Your "right" to smoke pot, legal or not, sure doesn't include the right to take money from parents for daycare services and then violate parents wishes, or break laws with regards to tobacco, alcohol, legal and illegal drug use while working at daycare centers or schools.

      That woman cut her own throat trying to be "slick willy" and watch more children than the LAW allows. She lied to Parents and told them she was licensed, and a parent who "assumed" she was licensed filed a complaint which resulted in an investigation. Since she was watching more than five children when she was investigated ALL of the laws in IC 12-17.2-3.5 applied to the investigation.

      Idiotic skewed ideology about "rights" and blatant abuse and total disregard for persons who don't smoke pot is why it hasn't been legalized nationally.

    • Sick of this

      Cheech really there is a bigger problem here than smloking weed- the dumb bitch ran an illegal daycae and the baby died- She needs punished for running an illegal daycare period

    • meegan coleman

      Not everyone smokes, it is a disgusting thing that should not be allowed around children under any circumstances.

  • Carolyn

    What a tragedy!!! Beautiful baby. I have often wondered why people have babies then put them in daycare for someone else to raise????
    That young of a child needs it's mother all the time.

    • Kate

      Because some people HAVE to work for a living! Don't chastise the parents for choosing to be upstanding and work to provide for their children.

      • Just Saying

        Kate if they have to work to get by then maybe they should have waited until they were more financialy secure so the mother didn't have to work and leave the child in daycare.

      • dog

        are you kidding me??!?!??!? some people work and work to be "financially stable" and STILLLLL HAVE TO WORK you dumb dumb DUMB PESON YOU!! omg, i hate stupid people

      • SKK

        I cannot believe that there are still people in this world who think Mother's shouldn't work. Why can't we raise children and have a career? I have a VERY well rounded accomplished 18 year old. I raised him on my own while working. He has learned amazing work ethic and has learned to do things for himself. I'm appalled by the ancient thought process and complete stupidity of some people. Yes I agree people should choice their day cares with more care, but to say they just shouldn't work in ancient and obscene.

    • kim

      Yes it is a tragedy, but it could have happen at home just as well. Maybe she was a stay at home mom …maybe something changed and she had to work. Unfortuately, we all can't stay at home and be that stay at home mom. Only thing I see that mom might have done was a little more research as to where she left her child.

    • CLK

      @ Carolyn, you're nothing more than judgmental fool.. You must be relying on those foreign bank accounts to get you by because in this the day and age that I know, you need a 2 income household just to stay afloat. If you have the opportunity to raise your children as a stay home mom, good for you but don't criticize hard working honest families for doing their best.

  • lisa

    Even being in posession of marijuana is STILL illegal in the state of Indiana, let alone smoking it when youre entrusted with the care and being PAID to care for other peoples children. Its a self respect and respecting the children ISSUE. The law is the law. I have a list of laws that i would change if i could…including legalizing marijuana. But i would make SURE the folks caring for MY children wouldnt test positive for anything except ATTITUDE.

  • Mike

    No one said they were positive while taking care of hte children. It just says THAT SAME DAY.. Probably later after the tragedy. A lot of people use it to calm themselves. I don't even smoke, but if a child I was in care of passed from SIDS, I'd probably go home and smoke some too

  • Liberty

    Personally, I feel family should be the only one to watch infants, and toddlers(at least until they can talk.) most of everyone has a granny or an aunt who is usually more than willing to care for their young relatives, I understand not everyone has that luxury but it should be considered if available. Another thing is that marijuana was not the issue here so much so as SIDS was and the from the information provided it would appear The Broken portable crib is the reasoning for this infants rolling over, also babies that young should never be left unattended, i dont know how many young mothers have sat watching tv with their babies crib right next to them the entire time, It only takes a second for a vulnerable infant to hurt themselves especially once they start rolling and crawling, this baby is in the lords arms now, but this doesn't have to happen again. You wouldn't put your baby in carseat with no way to buckle it down or safety harness, so why would you put one in a Broken Crib.

    • CLK

      Not everyone has the liberty of being a stay home mom, especially a single mom who has no one to help out. Its not fair to criticize a mother for leaving the home in order to support her child(ren).

  • justcause

    "someone else"
    Not all families can live on one income. Just because a child goes to a sitter doesn't mean the Mother isn't raising her children. This poor mother will never be the same after this tragedy and will hold enough guilt, she doesn't need your judgement.

  • Johnna

    Babies rarely die while sleeping alone in a crib.

    The Scripps study also found that most coroners are not following the methods of investigation recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, prompting them instead to rely on often-incorrect diagnoses of SIDS, still the officially listed cause for 57 percent of all infant deaths.

    “It is far more common for a child to die of asphyxiation than to die of SIDS,” says Dr. Andrea Minyard, the state medical examiner in Pensacola, Fla. “We say this with a heavy heart. But it is an accurate portrayal of what really is happening. Most of the time, it’s either a parental overlay or unsafe and excessive bedding.”

    Minyard ruled that two-thirds of the 41 sudden infant deaths in her area during a five-year period were accidental asphyxiations. She’s one of a growing number of medical examiners who blame suffocation, not SIDS, for most unexpected infant deaths, according to the Scripps study of 40,000 infant fatalities over 15 years.

  • Unbelievable

    How is this story a debate about parents working or not. I have seen more news stories where PARENTS – probably unemployed stay at home moms that are found guilty of actions leading to their child's death. There are MANY situations where children may be safer in a school or daycare.

    • shannon

      why would give you any right to say something like that ! you think this kinda of a issue is funny check your self

      • ClanSmokeJaguar

        I have checked myself.

        You need to check yow self before you wreck yow self (more than you obviously have based off this crude sentence you attempted)

  • Jeni

    Obviously,this child's parents didn't check this place out before deciding to use this daycare!! This place needs closed ASAP–PERMANENTLY!!!!

  • Britney

    All of you people on here arguing about the drug factor are childish. I could care less if she was smoking with or without the children there. Yhe fact of the matter is she runs a childcare service and my son died in her care and she had drugs in her system. If you run a childcare service you dont do drugs. Its as simple as that.

    • ClanSmokeJaguar

      You might want to recheck your 2nd sentence. You later contradict yourself.

      Condolescences for your loss!

  • Kim

    People who care for children should not do drugs. I agree Britney. I am sorry for your loss. I feel your pain. My firstborn Andrea would've been 17 this past January, however, when she was 5 months old, she died of SIDS in a licensed daycare facility. I knew the provider well and she was awesome with the kids. She didn't do drugs and kept excellent records for all her children. Not a day does by that I don't morn the loss of her. I turned to a SIDS support group to help with the grieving process. I now have 4 healthy children ages 15, 13, 9,and 8 and 3 step children. I will keep you in my prayers for comfort and healing.

  • guest

    Funny how people are so against marijuana but if the day care woman had prescribed benzo's or opiates they'd be ok with that.

  • outraged

    Britney, I am so sorry for your loss. No words will, or could ever change that fact of such a terrible loss. I am also so sorry that you must endure the ignorance of so many people's comments. My prayers are with you and your family.

  • guest

    First of all point out that because someone tested positive for THC doesn't mean they had to smoke that day….or even that week. If someone occasionally uses marijuana, lets say on the weekend. That THC use would still be in their system during the week. THC is stored in fat cells, so when you burn fat you also release THC. Science really is an amazing thing.

    oh and totally agree with the prescription drugs being okay but GOD FORBID someone smoke a joint on the weekend!

  • Ann

    Stay at home mothers are so close minded and think that their way is the only way to do things. I'm proud to be a working professional and give my daughter the example of a well rounded individual. the women who stay home only show their children the stereotypical view that women are only good to stay home cook and clean!

    • Brandi

      Ann, I'm a stay-at-home mom and my kids are well rounded kids and I encourage my kids to go and enjoy life and to stand up for themselves when stupid people act stupidly towards them and be kind to the people who don't understand their way of life. So before you judge me or my friends, get to know stay-at-home parents and you will find great people and een better friends.

  • Ann

    Brandi … It is obvious you're a stay at home mom as shown by your spelling and grammar abilities Maybe while you sit at home you can pick up your books from high school (that is if you didn't drop out) and learn proper English. Hopefully you're also teaching your children that being educated is important!!!

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