State closes Dunwoody day care after death of 4-month-old

Amanda Harris Hickey, 45, of Dunwoody, was arrested Friday and charged with murder after an infant died at her home day care service.
Amanda Harris Hickey, 45, of Dunwoody, was arrested Friday and charged with murder after an infant died at her home day care service.

Credit: DeKalb County Sheriff's Office

Credit: DeKalb County Sheriff's Office

Center’s owner, charged with murder, doesn’t appeal temporary closure

A Dunwoody in-home day care center will remain closed for 21 days while the investigation continues into the death of a 4-month-old, the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning said Wednesday.

Amanda Hickey ran the Little Lovey day care from her home for 10 years. Last week, she was charged with felony murder and cruelty to children after an infant in her care died.

ExploreState moves to close Dunwoody day care after 4-month-old’s death

Police reports state that Hickey put the baby face-down for a nap and didn’t check on him for more than 2½ hours on Feb. 3. She was licensed to care for six children, but investigators said there were eight in her home that day.

The baby was on his stomach and unresponsive when Hickey returned to check on him, according to investigators. The baby died the same day. Hickey was arrested two days later.

On Monday, DECAL issued an order to close the center for 21 days and Hickey had 48 hours to appeal but did not, a spokesman for the agency said Wednesday. If DECAL decides to revoke Hickey’s license, the center will remain closed until a hearing is held.

While Hickey was being held without bond at the DeKalb jail, family and friends gathered at an Atlanta church for the baby’s funeral.

Pastor Chuck Roberts of Peachtree Presbyterian Church said the boy’s death left many with feelings of shock, loss, hurt and sadness. The service was live-streamed on the church’s website.

“We’re here not because we want to be here, but because we need to be here,” Roberts said.

“The Lord’s Prayer” was read during the service and those attending sang “Amazing Grace.”

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