Unlicensed Bloomington daycare provider charged after 1-year-old died in her care

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An unlicensed in-home daycare provider in Bloomington has been charged after a one-year-old died in her care in November 2023. 

According to court documents, Kristina Elder, 50, is charged with second-degree manslaughter in relation to the one-year-old's death.

Bloomington police officers responded to a home in the city on Nov. 28, 2023, on a report of a one-year-old child not breathing, the charges say. Once officers arrived, they found the child being treated by paramedics. The child was "struggling to breathe, and his lips were blue." 

The child was taken to the hospital, where he ultimately died, court documents say. 

Elder told officers that she ran the daycare, and the child was one of the children she watched, the charges state. Elder said she gave the child lunch, and she knew he "tended to pack food in his mouth", so she had to check to make sure the child swallowed his food. 

After lunch, the child was lying on a mat while Elder was doing other tasks in the home, the charges said. Elder said, at some point, she saw the child’s lips were turning blue. Elder said she did a "finger sweep" and got some food out of the child’s throat, but she said she felt she was pushing some food further down his throat, so she stopped. 

According to the complaint, Elder said after the finger sweep, the child opened his eyes and the coloring came back to his lips. 

The child then laid back down, and Elder walked away again to do other things in the house, court documents said. Elders didn’t call 911 or the child’s parents at the time. 

Elder said when she came back later, the child was reportedly not moving and looked "lifeless." Elder also said the child’s lips turned blue again, court documents said. Elder then called 911. 

Charges said that Elder couldn’t give officers a timeframe from when she did the finger sweep to when she came back to the child. 

Elder is currently not in custody but has been summoned for a court appearance on June 20.