Del. Child Care Worker Allegedly Smothered 4-Month-Old Baby Girl Who Wouldn't Stop Crying

Dejoynay M. Ferguson, 19, is charged with murder after allegedly smothering a baby girl who was "fussy" and wouldn't stop crying, say police

Dejoynay M. Ferguson
Dejoynay Ferguson. Photo: Delaware State Police

A 19-year-old day care worker in Delaware has been charged with murder after allegedly smothering an infant who wouldn’t stop crying, say state police.

On Thursday at about 10:35 a.m., Delaware state troopers and Emergency Medical Services personnel responded to a call about an unresponsive 4-month-old baby at the Little People Child Development Center in Bear, Delaware State Police say in a statement.

The baby girl was rushed to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead, say police.

Upon investigating, the Delaware State Police Homicide Unit found surveillance video showing child care worker Dejoynay Ferguson of New Castle picking up the crying infant from the floor and placing her on a changing table, according to court documents obtained by The News Journal.

Assigned as the baby’s caregiver in the facility’s Infant Room, Ferguson allegedly “placed her hands over the victim’s mouth and nose,” state police say in the statement.

Ferguson allegedly “intentionally restricted her breathing until she became unresponsive,” state police say in the statement.

Wearing latex gloves, Ferguson allegedly held her hands over the baby’s face for three minutes, the court documents state, The News Journal reports.

Ferguson then placed the “motionless” baby in a crib, The News Journal reports.

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After waiting 20 minutes, Ferguson told the daycare center owner that the baby was unresponsive “at which time a call was made to 911,” the statement says.

The next day, Ferguson was arrested and charged with one count of first-degree murder.

She was arraigned in the Justice of the Peace Court and is being held at the Dolores J. Baylor Women’s Correctional Institution on $1 million cash bail.

During an interview with police, Ferguson said she allegedly grabbed the baby by the shirt because she had become “fussy” and wouldn’t stop crying, court documents state, The News Journal reports.

A Department of Services for Children, Youth, and Their Families spokesperson said the daycare facility had no “noncompliance issues” listed in its May inspection, The News Journal reports.

All of its employees, including Ferguson, had passed required background checks, the spokesperson said, The News Journal reports.

Ferguson has not yet entered a plea. It is unclear whether she has retained an attorney who can speak on her behalf.

Calls to the daycare center were not immediately returned.

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