ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — A St. Joseph mother is trying to cope after her daughter dies at an in-home daycare.
It happened back in May and one of the caregivers is charged with child endangerment. However, the baby’s mother wants to see more action taken.
It’s a story with twists and turns, but ultimately, a mother lost her three-month-old daughter.
Krista Richardson said she wants to bring awareness to what happened to baby Lorelai so other parents won’t find themselves in her shoes.
In Richardson’s apartment, she has a dresser covered with mementos of her baby.
“These are her first and only ultrasound,” Richardson said.
Three-month-old Lorelai is her mother’s angel now. A little cupid was born on Valentine’s Day of this year. The bubbly baby loved to be held and cooed with joy. In the center of her keepsakes is a tiny pink urn.
“I didn’t expect it to be so small,” Richardson said.
She said all she has are her memories now and the mementos she holds dear.
“I just needed a daycare for my kids to go and I couldn’t afford most of them,” Richardson said.
Through Facebook she came across a used car seat she wanted to buy from a woman named Madison Throckmorton. She said Throckmorton told her she also ran a daycare out of her house and offered to take care of Lorelai and her son, Syler, with her friend.
She said before she trusted them she checked their references and everything seemed like an ideal solution.
Richardson worked two jobs. One at a retail store, and another at a gas station to help pay the bills.
“I had no issues,” Richardson said.
For a month she said everything was fine. Richardson took the bus to work because she didn’t have a car. Throckmorton would pick her kids up, take care of them, and bring them back home. However, that didn’t happen on May 27.
“I asked her if she could bring my kids home and she said yes,” Richardson said.
That’s when the stories started. Richardson said Throckmorton told her a number of reasons why she couldn’t bring her kids back to her.
From activities to errands, to car trouble — it went on into the morning hours.
Richardson said she tried to call a cab to go pick her kids up, but they wouldn’t take her if she didn’t have the exact address of her destination. She said she asked the women for their exact address, but they told her she didn’t need to come to get her kids and they would get them back to her.
Richardson said they didn’t tell her anything was wrong with the children and she figured they would get them back to her in the morning. She said she was exhausted from working both jobs and going back and forth with the women and at some point, that morning passed out. She said she woke up at 11 a.m. to a message from Throckmorton asking her to call, and when she did there was no answer.
“She said hey, can you call me when you get the chance and I tried to call her a couple of times and I couldn’t get an answer,” Richardson said.
Soon after, Richardson said her mother saw something extremely concerning on Facebook. On a St. Joseph crime watch page, there was a post about police activity in Throckmorton’s neighborhood.
“Someone else comments three-month-old not breathing receiving CPR,” Richardson said.
She said at that point she ran across the street to get help from a neighbor who drove her to the area of Throckmorton’s home where she saw the crime scene.
Police say according to Throckmorton’s friend who was taking care of the children with her the baby died when Lorelai fell asleep in Throckmorton’s lap sometime between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. the morning of May 28.
“They had me sit in the back of the cop car and told me it was her and she didn’t make it,” Richardson said.
Throckmorton was charged with endangering the welfare of a child, but Richardson would like to see harsher charges due to the circumstances surrounding the baby’s death.
According to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services 32% of child abuse and neglect deaths in the state are due to unsafe sleep conditions for children. It also clarifies that SIDS, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, and neglect are two separate issues.
SIDS normally happens when a child dies of natural causes in a safe position while they are asleep. Neglect occurs when a parent or caregiver has the child in an unsafe sleeping position.
Richardson understands there is nothing that could bring her daughter back, but the memories she has of her are cherished when she looks at her daughter’s memorial.
“I’ll sit over here and talk to her and tell her I love her. I miss her,” Richardson said.
How Lorelai died is clear, but for her mother, wondering how long she was actually dead before she got help haunts her every day.
“I would give anything to have her back,” Richardson said.
FOX4 met with Throckmorton off-camera and she declined to comment on the case but seemed visibly shaken.
Her trial is scheduled in Buchanan County in late October.
FOX4 also reached out to the Buchanan County Prosecuting Attorney and will keep following this case.