Dunwoody day care owner charged with murder after infant’s death

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

The owner of a Dunwoody home day care was arrested Friday and charged with murder after an infant died in her care earlier this week, police said.

Amanda Harris Hickey, 45, who owns and operates Little Lovey day care, was booked into the DeKalb County Jail on Friday and faces felony counts of murder and cruelty to children, according to Dunwoody police.

On Wednesday, Hickey self-reported to the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL) that the 4-month-old was sleeping in a crib and was later found unresponsive, the department said in a statement.

That day, Dunwoody police and DeKalb firefighters responded to the day care, which is operated out of a home in the 2000 block of Leisure Lane, after they were called about an unresponsive child.

Officers “arrived within minutes,” according to a Dunwoody police statement, and attempted to resuscitate the infant. DeKalb paramedics then took the child to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

According to Hickey’s arrest warrant, she placed the baby face down in a “Pack N’ Play” shortly after 1 p.m. and didn’t check on him again until 3:45 p.m. She told detectives she placed the child on his back in the playpen and that he must have rolled over, but surveillance video showed her putting the child face down, the warrant alleges.

“He does crawl a bit but stopped around 1:45,” an officer wrote. At the time, Hickey was watching eight or nine children, according to the warrant. State records show she was licensed to look after a maximum of six children at a time. Authorities said the video also revealed “other actions which are under investigation.”

A day later, DECAL was informed of the child’s death. Dunwoody police arrested Hickey on Friday.

According to a Facebook page, Little Lovey was started in 2010 as a home day care business specializing in children up to age 2. The day care is licensed by Bright from the Start, a program run by DECAL.

Hickey is being held in the DeKalb jail without bond, records show.

— Please return to AJC.com for updates.

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