Greenville County deputies said they discovered an Upstate woman was operating an unlicensed daycare at her home, keeping more than a dozen kids, when a 3-month-old died while in her care.
Deputies said they were called to the Donington Drive home about an unresponsive child. The coroner said the baby was found in a bassinet and all efforts to revive her did not work.
While at the scene, deputies learned the daycare operating at the home had many more children in the operator's care than allowed.
Pamela Wood, 49, ran the daycare at her home and was licensed to only keep six children by the Department of Social Services, deputies said. But when they responded on Feb. 21, they said they found a total of 23 kids - some of them left unsupervised.
According to deputies, Wood told them there were only six kids at the home but then they found Wood's 16-year-old daughter hiding in the basement with 14 other children and also found a toddler alone in the backyard.
Two children were alone in a bedroom with a loaded gun on a shelf they could reach, according to her arrest warrants. Warrants state deputies found a working toaster on the floor, alcohol and cleaning fluids under the kitchen sink and medications on the kitchen counter all without child-proof locks to keep the kids out of the area.
Wood was arrested and charged with obstructing justice, violation of daycare licensing and unlawful neglect of a child.
According to her arrest warrants, Wood also lied to investigators about the infant's death. Warrants state Wood was paid to take care of all the children at the home and DSS had prior history of her having too many kids in her care.
Coroner Parks Evans said they are looking at the possibility that the baby was sleeping in unsafe conditions. He said several other items were found in the bassinet along with the baby, such as stuffed animals and blankets.
Evans said the cause and manner of death is pending further investigation, and he will not be sure until an autopsy is complete.
Wood was arrested on Saturday and released on $11,000 bond.
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