Local News

Apex home day care closed after child's death

Posted November 4, 2009

— Apex police are investigating a home day care after a child being cared for there died, said police spokeswoman Capt. Ann Stephens.

Authorities were called to Judy's Home Care, at 1300 Laura Duncan Road, on Oct. 26 on a report that a 3-month-old girl had stopped breathing. The child, Eliana Navy, was taken to WakeMed, where she died, Stephens said.

The state Department of Health and Human Services inspected the home after the child's death and found 17 violations ranging from inadequate supervision of children to the lack of an operating smoke detector and more minor issues related to record keeping.

DHHS suspended the license of owner and operator Judy Lucas the next day.

In a letter to Lucas, DHHS noted "conditions at the home represent immediate danger to the health, safety and welfare of children" being cared for there.

Lucas answered the door there Wednesday, but declined to comment.

Police are waiting on the final report on an official cause of death before completing their investigation.

"A provider of day care, just like any other person that provides care for children, ... certainly has certain standards of care that are expected to be met," Apex Police Chief Jack Lewis said.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • carroll74 Nov 5, 2009

    Given the child's age, it sounds like an SIDS case. However, I would ato see the divison's report that has now beeen removed. I'd like to know how she continued to keep children with 17 violations. Oh, and StepanyJoy, seems like you have a false senes of security just because you pay more money for your childcare. I've worked in centers and have seen what goes on.

  • Tired of thoughtlessness Nov 5, 2009

    She could have been healthy, but if you research SIDS, it does happen to "seemingly" healthy children. There is no DEFINITE reason for it.

  • JAT Nov 5, 2009

    Yep, I suspect SIDS, too. THe same thing happened to a friend of mine. Her child just rolled over and suffocated. Granted, precautions could and should be taken to prevent this. Was the child just laying on a bed? Was it on its back or side? Kids are suposed to be placed on their back, and you can certainly wedge a 3 month old in so he can't move or roll over.

  • Lovemyson Nov 5, 2009

    The report for this daycare has been removed from the NC Div of Child Development website. The link from WRAL no longer works either. I thought this was public information??

  • happymom Nov 5, 2009

    Praying for EVERYONE impacted by this. I can not begin to imagine the devastation.

    I will not pronounce judgment until the facts are in. I haven't seen anything that specifically said the violations found directly contributed to this baby's tragin death. Until then, I think the most respectful way to handle the situation is to reserve judgment and pray for the families involved.

  • YipesStripes Nov 5, 2009

    MOMOF4AWESOMEKIDS: Sure, send CPS in to evaluate her parenting skills, but they'd be wasting their time. Her kids are all grown, productive, positive adults. She did a great job.

    If a child dies in daycare, an inspection is required by law. Yes, there were a lot of violations but nowhere did anyone say these violations caused the death. I suggest reading the full report, if you haven't.

    Everyone needs to wait and see if the childcare provider actually had any responsibility in the child dying or if it was something like SIDS or an aneurysm BEFORE judging and assuming it was her fault.

  • Timbo Nov 5, 2009

    Hey, the horses got out. Let's close the barn door.

    And people expect government to run their health care?

    The government obviously can't manage to oversee Home Nurseries.

  • mwilliams2 Nov 5, 2009

    The story doesn't say, but obviously it sounds like SIDS. SIDS peaks in the 2-4 month range, and one of the most dangerous periods of time is the first week the infant starts daycare. The sudden alteration in schedule seems to play a part - makes them stressed out, so when they do fall asleep it's a deeper sleep, making SIDS more likely.

    With that being the case, it's "nice" that the standard leave established by the federal government is 12 weeks ... just enough to put babies having to start day care right smack in the most dangerous period for SIDS. We like to think we're a family centered country, but really we are not very family or kid friendly at all.

    I feel sorry for everyone involved in this case.

  • MomOf4AwesomeKids Nov 4, 2009

    "And some of you aren't getting it either.

    These child care homes are governed by regulations.

    She broke nearly every single one, putting innocent children at risk.

    Furthermore, the parents who left their children in that home when there were 8 under the age of 5 need to have their heads examined.


    How can one person evacuate 8 toddlers and infants in an emergency like a fire or a tornado???

    Think about it folks.


    God bless.


    THIS! She should never had been able to continue after all those awful violations...I don't care HOW "loving" she was, she was not very responsible...thankfully no other children are in danger, and hopefully wont be...I also hope CPS investigates her and her parenting skills.

    It doesn't matter if your child was there four years and you think she is the most loving, christian women anyone could ask for...the conditions that were posted are not suitable for my dog let alone my children!

  • ApexCitizen Nov 4, 2009

    There has been no confirmation of how this child died. Maybe we should wait to see if the caregiver had some responsibility before we count her out of any responsibility.