Local News

Cause undetermined in infant's day care death

Posted December 31, 2009 2:14 p.m. EST
Updated December 31, 2009 3:36 p.m. EST

— Wake County medical examiners can not determine what caused the October death of a 3-month-old girl at an Apex day care, although some signs point to sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS.

Authorities were called to Judy's Home Care, at 1300 Laura Duncan Road, on Oct. 26 on a report that an infant had stopped breathing. The child, Eliana Navy, was taken to WakeMed, where she died.

According to the autopsy released Thursday, the day care owner, Judy Register Lucas, said Eliana was found unresponsive and face-down in a portable crib. The circumstances of how she was put to bed aren't clear, the autopsy said.

Those signs could point to SIDS, but there is not enough evidence to support that theory, according to the report signed by doctors Kevin Greene and Deborah Radisch.

Eliana was "previously healthy," did not have any injuries or physical abnormalities and only had drugs in her system from resuscitation efforts, the autopsy says.

"Given that the child was reportedly found face down and that there is some uncertainty as to the circumstances surrounding the death, raising the possibility of an asphyxial means of the death, the cause of death in this case is best classified as 'undetermined,'" the autopsy concludes.

Lucas has not been charged in the girl's death. She faces four felony charges stemming from state health inspections done before Eliana's death.