Each day thousands of children face the deadly epidemic of child abuse in the United States. Statistics show a child is abused every 10 seconds in the United States and these statistics are rising daily.
Former day care operator Lisa West has been charged with felony child abuse. The case dates back to 2009, according to St. Charles Prosecuting Attorney Tim Lohmar.
Today KSDK.COM reported West surrendered to police early Monday. According to a report by Prosecuting Attorney Tim Lohmar back in September 2009 an 18-month-old toddler, Mason Beach, died in West's care at her in-home day care. About 20 minutes after the toddler's mother dropped him off at West's home she received a phone call. West told the toddler's mother "Mason was unconscious and not breathing." The toddler died less than 24 hours later from non-accidental head trauma.
The investigation remained open for 5 years and just recently the St. Charles County grand jury indicted West.
The question on many people's minds is why did it take five years for West to be charged?
"A lot of that had to do with the complicated medical evidence involved," Lohmar said. "There were numerous medical professionals, medical experts, whose opinions were consulted. Obviously, when you're going to charge a case like this you'd better be sure that you've got the evidence to support that. And we felt like it was just until recently that we were able to do that."
West is being held on a $100,000 cash-only bond at the St. Charles County Department of Corrections.
If you see, hear or suspect a child is being abused it is your moral duty to report it. Here is a list of state toll-free numbers for specific agencies designated to receive and investigate reports of suspected child abuse and neglect. For your privacy and protection you can file a report of child abuse anonymously.