SC day care director says woman charged with critically injuring infant actually saved baby’s life

Around the South

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) – A 51-year-old Myrtle Beach woman has been charged with the infliction of great bodily injury upon a child, according to Myrtle Beach Police.

Lona Lee Thomas was granted a $7,500 surety bond on Friday and ordered to stay away from the victim’s family and the daycare where she worked.

According to police in Myrtle Beach, Thomas is charged in connection to an incident at Busy Bodies Child Care Center involving a 7-month-old. Police say Thomas was an employee of the child care center.

Police say the investigation began Nov. 1 after officers were called to the daycare for an unresponsive infant. The victim is still in critical condition and is being treated for injuries.

In an official statement, Myrtle Beach police say “we continue to hold the victim and family in our thoughts and offer prayers for a full recovery.”

The victim’s mother asked for prayers during Thomas’ bond hearing.

The director of the day care, Gladys Knuesel, and family of Thomas spoke with News13 after Thomas’ bond hearing.

They said that Thomas was feeding the 7-month-old, when the baby started choking. Thomas then reportedly began performing CPR along with another employee.

Knuesel and family also said 911 was then called and the baby was responsive when an ambulance took the baby.

Knuesel told News13 she thinks Thomas is innocent and credits her with saving the baby’s life.

Family of Thomas say she told the baby’s mother previously to bring new bottles to the daycare because the hole in the bottle’s nipple was too big and releasing too much milk. The baby was also reportedly not at the daycare for two day’s prior to the incident.

The investigation is still ongoing, anyone with information is asked to call Myrtle Beach Police Department at 843-918-1382 and reference report number 19-024311.

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