By: Kristen Hegel
On the morning of Friday, December 3, a 6-week-old infant was found unresponsive at a home daycare in Rock Hill. According to Lieutenant Brad Redfearn of the Rock Hill Police Department, officers were called to the home around 10:51 A.M. Emergency crews rushed the infant from the daycare to Piedmont Medical Center, where the 6-week-old, identified as Zayden Jones, later died.
Rock Hill City Zoning issued a stop work order on the household daycare which was zoned to hold five children, but when officers arrived there were 20 children, all under the age of five. According to a spokeswoman from SC Child Services, the house, owned by 58-year-old Elizabeth Caldwell, has been registered as a daycare on and off for the past 20 years. The records from SC Child Services show that the daycare has been registered for the past three years without complaint. Because no complaints were filed with the daycare, no investigations were conducted. The Department of Social Services is now launching its own investigation.
“When I used to drop him off, I didn’t see that many children there at all,” Tameka Wright, mother of a three-year-old who attends the daycare, said. Jones’ mother stated that her son had only been attending the daycare for the previous three days. Her other son had also been attending the same daycare for a year and half with no problems. The children were being supervised by Caldwell and her 25-year-old daughter. According to Caldwell’s daughter, Caldwell called the police after noticing the infant was not responding. The Rock Hill Police Department is still not sure whether charges will be made in the case or not.
Officials haven’t released any details on the cause of death. According to York County Coroner Mitch Lindsay, the boy had no external trauma. Jones’ mother said her son had no health problems and was happy and always smiling. For the Jones family, it will be a sad holiday. Funeral plans for the boy are on hold until the autopsy results come in, which could take weeks. Until then, the police and the Department of Social Services will continue their investigations.