A 64-year-old day-care provider was charged this week in the death of an infant boy who suffocated in his sleep last August.
Police arrested Beverly Ann Greenagel yesterday, charging her with two counts of second-degree manslaughter, child neglect and endangerment, and interfering with a body after three-month-old Dane Abledinger was found lifeless after being put down for a nap.
Greenagel, who at the time was watching six more children than legally allowed, allegedly did not check on the boy for an hour after putting him face-down for a nap.
She was holding an annual water balloon fight with her older children and later told police she moved him downstairs so he wouldn’t get trampled.
Dane had apparently suffocated and was found where she left him on the flannel blanket.
Each of the two counts of second-degree manslaughter come with a maximum sentence of 10 years each, as well as a $20,000 fine.
According to the Minnesota Star-Tribune, Greenagel worked out of her home and ran Bev’s Day Care. She was licenced to look after a total of 12 children without a second caregiver.
At the time of Dale’s death on August 18, 2011, police in Egan, Minnesota said there were 20 children at her facility, including two toddlers, three infants, and eight preschoolers. They further alleged that Greenagel violated several safe-sleep standards required by the state.
The paper reported that Greenagel laid Dane down to sleep on his stomach in one of the bedrooms in her house, perhaps because a child who had just awoken from a nap had soiled its crib.
Minnesota law states that a single caregiver can only have a maximum of three infants and toddlers, with a total of 12 children.
A frantic 12-year-old girl who called 911 after Dane was discovered was recorded as saying: ‘Oh, um. There’s a baby dead.’
Records from the state show that Greenagel allegedly tried to cover her tracks by taking the blanket Dane had slept on and stacking it with other blankets. Dane had left blood spots on it.
When police searched the house after obtaining a warrant, they found the blood stains and confirmed that they belonged to the infant.
Dane’s cause of death was probable positional asphyxia, meaning that he most likely suffocated from the position in which he was placed.
According to the Inver Grove Heights Patch, Greenagel gave several varying accounts of the story to authorities. Greenagel had cared for the girl and was enlisting her help to care for the child. The Star-Tribune notes that caretakers must be at least 13.
In Minnesota, 82 children have died in licenced day-care facilities in the past ten years.
Court documents show the caretaker was cited once in 1984 and again in 1994 for violating the terms of her licence. On April 6, 1984, Greenagel was found to have too many infants and toddlers in her care.
Three months later, a parent complained that the caregiver was often absent, and instead hired a 16-year-old girl to look after the children.
The parent alleged that Greenagel would often leave to go shopping, play racquetball, and go shopping while the girl was left to care for the infants and toddlers.
The parent added that ‘Bev’s’ home was a good place for their children, but they were upset she was not around.
A decade later, an unannounced licensor visit proved that she still had more children in her care than her license allowed.
Dane’s parents, Stephanie and Mac Abledinger, did not immediately respond to MailOnline’s request for comment on Greenagel’s charges. Mrs Abledinger works as a hairstylist, and her husband is a postal worker.
Greenagel, meanwhile, remains in jail on a $75,000 bond and will have a hearing later this month.