Posted: Tuesday, June 24th 2014 at 9:54am
Two more arrested in day care cruelty case
By B.J. Williams Administrator
CLERMONT - The owner and the site operator of Discovering Basics Child Care Center on Highway 129 in Clermont have now been arrested in the case of a toddler who was burned while in the care of the facility.
The Hall County Sheriff's Office Tuesday morning announced the arrests of Minnie "Sue" Dupree, 66, and her daughter Tara Miller, 40, both of Gainesville. Both women have a first court appearance in Hall County Magistrate Court at 2 p.m.
Hall County Sheriff's Deputy Nicole Bailes said Dupree and Miller were arrested as part of an ongoing investigation into serious burns sustained by 22-month-old Damon Gaddis. The child's mother reported that she picked up her son the afternoon of June 13, and she was told the toddler had suffered an adverse reaction to a bug bite. A trip to the hospital revealed the child had suffered second and third degree burns to his stomach and left leg.
According to Bailes, Dupree has been charged with influencing testimony.
"She purposely went to employees and intimidated them...where she requested that they delete and/or throw away evidence that was present prior to investigators coming to the facility," said Bailes.
Miller faces a charged of child cruelty in the second degree, according to Bailes. She said investigators determined that Miller had knowledge of Damon Gaddis' injuries and she failed to seek medical treatment for the child.
Investigators also believe Miller assisted in applying topical ointments to the child’s injuries and was fully aware that the injuries occurred at the facility.
An employee of Discovering Basics, 55-year-old Eddye Pittmon, was arrested last week and charged with child cruelty in the case.
In addition, the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning has confirmed that a lawyer for Discovering Basics has appealed the state-requested closing of the facility. A hearing on that appeal is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Wednesday in Atlanta.
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