A Council Bluffs woman was arrested this (Friday) morning on felony Neglect of a Dependent Person and Child Endangerment Charges. The charges against 37-year old Teresa Chapin stem from an incident which took place on August 17th which resulted in the death of a 5-month old child.
The Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office says Chapin was the operator of Teresa’s Tiny Tots Day Care center at 133 Rosebud Lane in Council Bluffs. During the afternoon of August 17th, deputies and emergency personnel were called to the home for a child that was not breathing. The infant, Lane Thomas, was brought to Jennie Edmundson Hospital in Council Bluffs, where he was pronounced dead a little over an hour later.
An investigation revealed the boy was put in an adult bed for a nap, at around 2:30-p.m., after he had been fed his formula. Chapin’s daughter checked on the child less than an hour later, but did not verify that he was breathing. When the daughter went to wake the boy from his nap at 4-p.m, he was laying face down, cold to the touch, and unresponsive. Teresa Chapin then initiated CPR and called 9-1-1.
An autopsy at the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Ankeny was unable to determine the cause of death, which was deemed a Sudden, Unexplained Infant Death. Evidence at the home of Teresa Chapin indicated she displayed a level of negligence that contributed to the death of the child. Officials say she is a licensed day care provider in the State of Iowa, and has experience and education about child development needs. They say she should have been aware of the hazards of excessive bedding for an infant Lane Thomas’ age.