Toddler Who 'Radiated Love' Dies of Severe Head Injury at NY Day Care, and Provider Is Charged

Jessica Sims, 24, is charged with first-degree manslaughter after she allegedly struck the child's head on a table, say police

Lennox Santiago
Photo: Whelan Bros. & Hulchanski Funeral Home

A 24-year-old upstate New York woman has been charged in connection with the death of a 23-month-old child at the daycare center she ran out of her apartment, say police.

On Thursday, Jessica Sims, 24, of Mattydale, was charged with first-degree felony manslaughter for allegedly causing a lethal head injury to Lennox Santiago of Liverpool, the Onandaga County Sheriff’s Office says in a release.

The arrest came after a months-long investigation into the tragic incident.

On July 17, at about 4:30 p.m., Sims called 911 to report that Lennox had fallen out of a chair and hit his head, the Sheriff’s Office says in the release.

EMTs found Santiago unconscious but still breathing and rushed him to a local hospital, reports.

He underwent brain surgery for a severe head injury but died two days later.

While questioning Sims, her story “changed on several occasions,” Onondaga County sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Jon Seeber told

Detectives ultimately determined that Sims allegedly “recklessly” caused the child’s death “by striking the child’s head on a table inside her residence,” the Sheriff’s Office says in the release.

During the investigation, detectives learned that Sims was the only adult home at the time of the incident. Three other young children were also in the apartment.

Sims appeared in Centralized Arraignment Court on Thursday where she was arraigned on the manslaughter charge and a charge of violating probation.

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Sims was on probation after she was arrested and charged in 2017 for driving while intoxicated and leaving the scene of an accident, court records show.

Sims is being held in lieu of $25,000 bail or $100,000 bond.

She is scheduled to return to court Wednesday in Salina Town Court.

She has not yet entered a plea.

It is unclear whether she has retained an attorney who can speak on her behalf.

The child’s obituary says he “passed away peacefully on Friday after twenty-three happy months. He had an infectious smile and radiated love to everyone he met.”

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