Republic Daycare Operator Pleads Not Guilty to Child Abuse

She's also charged for operating a daycare improperly

REPUBLIC, Mo.--A daycare owner in Republic who is facing child abuse charges pleaded not guilty in court Thursday. 

28-year-old Samantha Renee Dillbeck has been charged with felony abuse of a child. She is also charged with operating a child-care facility without the proper license, in a separate case.

Court records show it happened on March 21st at Dillbeck's in-home daycare, M & M Daycare.

When a Republic Police officer arrived, he found the baby unresponsive but gasping for air every two or three seconds. The Republic School nurse, who is a family friend, was tending to the baby while Dillbeck was standing on the back patio, five to ten feet from the baby on the phone with 911.

Dillbeck told Republic police the baby boy was acting normally the first part of the day but at one point began to cough like he was going to throw up, then his eyes rolled back and he fell hitting his head on the floor.

She told investigators the baby had fallen multiple times that day on the carpet.

After doctors examined the infant, they told police there were signs of head trauma and the injuries likely happened during the time frame he was with the caregiver. Doctors also said that a short fall from a seated position is not consistent with the observed signs of abuse.

Police also interviewed Wyatt Dillbeck. They questioned why someone would do something like that, referring to injuring a baby. He stated,  "frustrated at work, stress, new parents. I mean you can ask anybody at the day care--that son that's in her belly, I'm ecstatic for."

Investigators asked Wyatt if there was anything he wanted to say about the communication that day between the two of them. Wyatt said, "she was just telling me she was distraught. I mean, it's hormonal right now because she's pregnant."

Court records also indicate there was a previous injury to the child that may have occurred two weeks prior to March 21st.

Dillbeck is being held on $25,000 bond, can not operate a daycare while charges are pending but can has supervised contact with her own child.

She is due in court July 20.


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