The owners of Kids Best Daycare off of Thomas Drive will not face any criminal charges in connection to an eight-month-old baby critically injured inside the daycare last week.
Bay County sheriff's officials say they could not prove Kids Best owners or employees intended to hurt eight-month-old Yalena Mousadokus.
Sheriff's officials say Yalena accidentally pulled the cord of a crock pot full of hot water onto herself. The crock pot was on top of a refrigerator next to the crib Yalena was in. Yalena is expected to recover, and could be transported to a local hospital within the next couple of weeks.
Kids Best has been fined five times in the past three years by the Department of Children and Families for several incidents of child neglect and inspection violations, but after DCF representatives and sheriff's investigators met with state attorney's office, officials concluded there was no culpable negligence to meet child abuse or neglect under Florida law in the case of Yalena.
"Legally, proving intent is very hard. Did someone intend to put the crock pot up there intending to have the child pull on the cord? Or was it just a horrible, tragic accident? There may be a civil matter here, but it's not a criminal matter," says Ruth Sasser, Bay County Sheriff's Office Spokeswoman.
A circuit judge ordered Kids Best shutdown last Friday after reviewing Yalena's case. A court date has been set for June 6. Owners Jeff and Shirley Jones can fight then to reopen Kids Best.