Possible prison time for unlicensed daycare worker after baby dies in her care

A Virginia daycare worker pleaded guilty to felony child neglect charges on Thursday after an infant died in her care last year in her Chesterfield home.

ABC3 reports that 3-month-old Peter Hitt died while in the care of Carrie C. Persichini, a 53-year-old unlicensed childcare worker who admitted to putting the baby down on his stomach for a nap inside a Pack ‘n’ Play, with his head facing sideways. The incident took place inside Persichini’s home off of  Bridgewood Road home on August 23, 2016.

According to court documents, the baby had gone into cardiac arrest and later pronounced dead at a hospital. Peter’s cause of death was listed as unexpected due to “unsafe sleep environment.” Detectives said that they discovered Peter, lifeless in the Pack ‘n’ Play, with a fleece blanket partially covering his face.

Early on during the investigation, Chesterfield Police Sgt. Brad Conner indicated that the baby was a healthy boy with no prior sleeping or medical issues.

“There’s no evidence to indicate the pack and play fell apart and did any harm to the child,” Connor said. “As far as we know, the medical examiner reported that the child was a healthy three-month-old with no obvious signs of any malnutrition or any injuries or anything of that nature.”

Last year, NBC reported that during the investigation, Persichini changed her story on how often she looked in on the sleeping baby. She first said she checked on the baby every hour, but later changed her to story to reflect she checked on him every 15 minutes.

Court records indicate that on the day Peter died, the unlicensed childcare worker had 16 children in her home, ranging in ages 3 months to 12 years old. Even with a license, qualified childcare workers are only allowed to care for a maximum of 12 children at a time.

Persichini is scheduled for sentencing in January. Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.

[Feature Photo: Handout/Chesterfield Police]