State shuts down day care center after 4-month-old’s death

DUNWOODY, Ga. — Channel 2 Action News has learned that the state has shut down the day care owned by a woman charged with killing a 4-month-old from Dunwoody.

The Department of Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning confirmed Wednesday that the Little Lovely Daycare was shut down after its owner, Amanda Hickey, was charged with felony murder and cruelty to children after a 4-month-old in her care was found unresponsive last week.

“Ms. Hickey did not appeal our intended order of emergency closure within the required 48-hour period.  As a result, her Family Child Care Learning Center located at 2369 Leisure Lane in Dunwoody will be closed for the next 21 days while we continue to investigate the child death that occurred there on February 3. 2021.  If we determine revoking her license is necessary, the program will remain closed until a hearing is held before an administrative law judge,” DECAL expressed in a statement.

According to the police report, Hickey, who operated the day care out of the basement of her home, put the baby down for a nap in a playpen. Hickey told officers she put the baby to sleep on his back at around 1 p.m., the way that she was trained and in accordance with state regulations.

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Hickey said she walked away. And when she came back, the baby had rolled over onto his stomach. Hickey said the child later became unresponsive, and she called 911. The baby was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Warrants, however, reveal the surveillance video shows Hickey putting the baby to sleep on his stomach. A video showed the baby did “crawl a bit but (he) stopped around 1:45 p.m.,” warrants stated.

The footage also showed that Hickey did not check on him again until 3:45 p.m. when she found that he was not breathing.

According to the warrant, Hickey was charged with felony murder based on the fact that she placed the child face down, causing his death. She was charged with second-degree cruelty to children because of the “cruel or excessive physical or mental pain” she inflicted on the baby by putting him to bed face down.

“Video reveals other actions which are under investigation,” the warrant stated.

The warrant indicates Hickey was watching eight or nine other children. The incident report contradicts the warrant and indicates Hickey was watching seven other children. As per state guidelines, home day cares can accommodate six children and two more children in a part-time capacity.

Hickey’s first court appearance was Saturday, where a judge ruled the case will be elevated to superior court.