March 19th, 2013
UPDATE: Police say Elizabeth Harding was arrested in connection with Hunter's death. She is being charged with Child Neglect Resulting in Death. Police say she was operating an unlicensed daycare.
February 27th, 2013
OMAHA (KPTM)- A grieving family is asking for privacy after one-year-old Chase Michael died at an Omaha house near 91st and Spaulding. The family's lawyer said the person watching him was operating an unlicensed home daycare.
It was Friday when Chase was at the daycare, when the provider noticed he wasn't breathing and called for paramedics.
"They are attempting to resuscitate the child at the time. Once the child was at children's hospital, it was declared that the child was deceased," said Officer James Shade of the Omaha Police Department.
Police said the daycare provider placed Chase in a car seat for a nap. The harness was not secured. While he was sleeping, he moved around and the harness encircled his neck, causing him to stop breathing.
As the criminal investigation continues, Chase's family said they will look to determine who's at fault for the loss of their son so this does not happen to another family. They also urge others to only use licensed and insured daycare provider and to never leave a child unattended in a car seat.
"The car seat's not intended as a babysitting device, it's a safety device to keep your child safe while transporting them," said Tim Tichy of the Nebraska National Safety Council.
Improper use of car seats is something Tichy said he sees far too often. He said 80% of percent don't use them correctly.
"Sometimes parents will leave children in a car seat kind of like if they go over to a friends house and they take the kid in the carrier in the car seat and they put them down, they might be there for hours, you shouldn't do that," said Tichy.
The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services will not confirm whether it is investigating the daycare. The family's lawyer said the parents were friends with the person who was watching their son.