Daycare worker charged after 4-month-old smothered at Delaware facility

BEAR, Del. (KYW/CNN) - The license for a Delaware daycare center has been suspended amidst an investigation into the death of a 4-month-old girl, who police say was smothered by an employee at the facility.

Dejoynay Ferguson, 19, faces a charge of first degree murder in the death of the 4-month-old girl. She is being held on $1 million bond. (Source: Delaware State Police/KYW/CNN)

Dejoynay Ferguson, 19, is charged with first degree murder in the death of the baby, whom police say was in her care Thursday morning at the Little People Child Development Center in Bear, Delaware.

Investigators say Ferguson placed her hands over the girl’s mouth and nose and intentionally restricted her breathing until she became unresponsive. She then placed the baby back in her crib.

About 20 minutes later, Ferguson alerted the daycare owner the child was unresponsive, according to police.

The 4-month-old was taken to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

“Yesterday, a family’s world was changed forever. As a parent personally, I’m heartbroken for them,” said Delaware State Police Master Cpl. Michael Austin. “As a spokesperson for Delaware State Police, I can ensure you that everyone within this agency feels the same way.”

Ferguson, a certified early childhood assistant teacher, was hired at the center in January 2019 after passing a thorough background check. She is being held on $1 million bond.

“The detectives will do everything within their means to thoroughly investigate and successfully prosecute this case to ensure that justice is ensured for them,” Austin said.

Due to the ongoing investigation, the daycare’s license has been suspended indefinitely and the facility shut down. The location had complaints against it in the past, but no wrongdoing was ever found.

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