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Roy day care operator arrested for child abuse homicide

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Posted at 8:50 AM, Apr 09, 2014
and last updated 2014-04-09 18:29:06-04

ROY, Utah -- A day care owner is behind bars Wednesday night on a child abuse homicide charge.

Police said an 8-month-old baby sustained a head injury while in 33-year-old Tisha Morely's care at her home in Roy.

On February 19, the 8-month-old victim and his 3-year-old brother were dropped off at a home in Roy for day care.

Bryce Weir, a public information officer with the Roy Police Department, said the father returned to find his child seriously injured.

"When the father went to pick up the child, the child was cold, not responsive,” Weir said. “That child was taken to a local hospital. In evaluating the child, they determined there was a head fracture that occurred, that clearly required medical attention.”

The little boy died from brain trauma a little over a week later.

Police said there's no way the injuries were sustained accidentally. The Department of Health suspended Morley's daycare license during the Roy Police Department's multi-month investigation. Neighbors said, despite that revocation, the day care remained open.

"The last week, I've noticed five, six, seven cars a day pulling up at the end of the day picking up kids and loading them in their car," Neighbor Steve Payne said.

Police said another child broke his leg while at the Tots & Tykes Day Care within the last month.

Investigators are still looking into that second case.

Police said child abuse cases like this outrage the community, and parents said that's because they trust day care providers to keep their children safe.

"You take your kids somewhere where you think they are going to be safe and that happens and your child dies: It’s sad," said Dianne Murray, a parent who lives in the area of the day care center.

Morely faces a first degree felony count of child abuse homicide.

She was booked into the Weber County Jail and is being held on a $100,000 bail.