UPPER CHICHESTER, Pa. (CBS) – A 23-year-old woman is charged with first-degree murder for the death of a toddler who was in her care early December, Delaware County Police said.
Authorities arrested Heather Lynn Hess at her Upper Chichester home Friday following an investigation into the death of 2-year-old David John Miller, Jr.
Police say on Dec. 11, Hess was babysitting four children, including Miller who went into respiratory arrest. According to the affidavit, Hess allegedly told police she was in the kitchen while the children were playing in her family room. She became concerned when she suddenly heard silence. Police say Hess stated when she walked into the family room, she found Miller unconscious with a bottle cap in his throat. Hess reportedly told police she was able to dislodge the cap while performing a finger sweep but realized that Miller was limp and was having great difficulty breathing. Hess also reportedly described blood coming from Miller’s mouth.
According to authorities, Hess told police she believed the toddler to be dead, but did CPR and called 911. The boy was taken to Crozer-Chester Medical Center and later transferred to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia where he died the next day.
Hess’ arrest comes after findings by the Philadelphia Medical Examiner that did not match her statements regarding the injuries of the toddler. The affidavit states the medical examiner determined the cause of death to be blunt impact and the manner as homicide.
Hess faces numerous charges including first and third-degree murder, as well as involuntary manslaughter, aggravated assault and endangering the welfare of children.