Denver daycare provider charged in death of baby placed in 'unsafe sleeping environment'

Posted at 6:11 PM, Aug 08, 2017

DENVER — A licensed daycare provider who worked in Denver is now facing charges of neglecting a child in her care, leading to that child's death in June.

Authorities say 1-year-old Karsen White died after Stephanie Hill placed the baby inside a baby crib with a number of adult-sized bed sheets on June 5.

A report from the Denver Coroner's Office said they could not determine the cause and manner of death, but said the "unsafe sleeping environment most likely contributed to the victim's death." 

Hill now faces one count of child abuse resulting in death — negligence. The charge, filed in Denver, is a felony.

Denver7 discovered this wasn't Hill's first violation involving the same child and an unsafe manner of sleeping. In October she was cited by an inspector for leaving the then-five-month old to sleep in her car seat instead of moving the child to a crib. 

Hill is currently free on a $50,000 bond but is scheduled to appear on Aug. 18 to answer the charges. 

"If someone is cited for something, the provider is required to submit a written response indicating how and when the violation was corrected," said Nicol Hogg of Denver's Public Health Inspections Division.

Denver7 has learned that the state is changing and adding to its policies as a result of cases like this one.  

"If we notice any safe sleep violations we are now notifying parents," said Hogg. "That was as of last week." 

On Aug. 1, the state put in this new policy for all its investigators.

That type of notification would have gone out to the baby's parents after Hill's first violation, which came months before the second, that ended up fatal.

We asked Denver's inspector division if the Hill case had impacted that change of policy. They couldn't comment. We also posed the question to a state agency representative, but have not heard back.

Click here to search for a licensed child care facility. 

Keep in mind their yearly inspection reports are public record and can be obtained by asking the daycare provider.