WARSAW – Warsaw police have arrested a daycare owner for the death of an 18-month-old boy nearly two months ago.
On August 6, police were called to a home in the 900 block of S. Union St.
18-month-old Peyton Brettell was unresponsive and taken to Kosciusko Community Hospital where he was pronounced dead a short while later.
Police say the South Union St. home is owned by Dana and Ballard Shell. 43-year-old Dana ran a child care business there and was unlicensed by the state of Indiana at the time of the incident.
Investigators say 11 other children were in the home, 2 of whom were direct relatives of Dana Shell. Dana and Ballard Shell were at the home that day, and two other adult relatives had been away from the home and returned shortly before the 911 call. One of those relatives found Peyton unresponsive in a bedroom.
Police say initial information supplied by Ms. Shell was not consistent with the child’s injuries.
An autopsy was performed at the Northeast Forensic Center in Fort Wayne on August 7. Final autopsy results several weeks later ruled Peyton’s death accidental from “positional asphyxia,” caused by the partial strapping of the child in a car seat used in the home.
In a third interview with police, Ms. Shell admitted to police she knew there was a concern with the child in the seat but did not take immediate appropriate action to care for the child or report it immediately to police or EMS. It also appeared the child was improperly strapped in the seat, which may have contributed to his death.
Police say because of her neglect of personal and medical attention to the child, charges of Neglect of a Dependent, a class A felony, have been filed against Ms. Shell.
Authorities say there was no evidence to show that any of the other adults in the home were aware of any potential problem with the child.
Dana Shell was taken to the Kosciusko County Jail on Monday, and is being held on $50,000 bond.