Local News

Stidham's Arrest a Surprise to Some

Posted August 12, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— Charges have been filed against a day care owner and a juvenile for the death of a 4-month-old baby at an illegal day care center.

Tracy Stidham was charged with involuntary manslaughter, and was not home when Bailey Tippett died. A juvenile who was at the home, was charged with voluntary manslaughter.

Stidham left seven children home alone at her illegal home day care center. Stidham's 12-year-old daughter was the oldest child left in the house. Some neighbors paint a stormy picture of the relationship between Stidham and her husband Mark, and others talk about a responsible family.

Word of Tracy Stiham's arrest came as a surprise to some, and as an expected event to others.

Roslyn Fowler, Stidham's neighbor, had become close to her neighbors, they shared holiday meals and shared tears after the July 9th death of 4-month-old Bailey died.

Shannon Fowler, Rosyln Fowler's daughter, had occasionally helped out at the Stidham's day care.

Julian Lynch, a neighbor, said it wasn't the first time Stidham had left children alone in her house.

Lynch lives behind the Stidham's, and said he expected an arrest would come sometime soon.

Lynch said police had visited the Stidham home once to his knowledge, other neighbors said disturbances were common. But that's not the neighbor Roslyn Fowler remembers.

Stidham was taken to the Wake County jail and placed under a $15,500 bond. She has her first court appearance Tuesday morning.