MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — An Eagan day care provider has been sentenced in the death of a 3-month-old child.
On Thursday, Beverly Anne Greenagel of Eagan was sentenced to 45 days in jail and 10 years of probation in connection with the death of Dane Joseph Ablidinger while she was in Greenagel’s care at her home day care facility. Greenagel previously pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter.
According to the charges, police were dispatched to a residence around 3:23 p.m. on Aug. 18, 2011 for a 911 call of an unresponsive child. Paramedics and Eagan Police arrived on scene and attempted to resuscitate the child but were unsuccessful.
The child was identified as Dane Joseph Ableidinger. Officers learned Ableidinger was found unresponsive in a downstairs bedroom.
The day care provider, identified as Beverly Anne Greenagel, is licensed by the Minnesota Department of Human Services to provide child care services.
She told police she was licensed to care for 14 children and claimed there were only 14 children present the day Ableidinger died. She said she was licensed to care for 12 children without having a “helper” present.
Investigators discovered at the time officers arrived to the residence for the 911 call, there were 20 children present — including eight preschoolers, three infants and two toddlers.
Greenagel told police conflicting reports on when she put Ableidinger down for a nap, at different times saying it was 1:30 p.m., 2:50 p.m. and 2 p.m.
She said she went to check on him at 3 p.m. when another child started screaming and saw he was white and wasn’t breathing.
The other child, a 12-year-old girl, said she found Ableidinger face down on a blanket that was lying on the floor of the basement bedroom where the cribs were. She said she picked him up and noticed blood on the blanket.
The girl also told police Greenagel told her to remove one of the kids from one of the cribs, where Ableidinger was found on the floor, before police arrived. She said Greenagel also came up to her after police arrived and told her that Ableidinger was in a crib.
Police searched the home and found a blanket with blood on it, on top of a pile of blankets at the other end of the room from where Ableidinger was put down for a nap. There also appeared to be blood on Greenagel’s shirt.
When officers asked Greenagel about the stain, she said it was makeup. Tests were done on the blanket and shirt and Ableidinger’s blood was found in both cases.
Greenagel admitted lying about where Ableidinger was during his nap because she was afraid of how it would look to police if she said she laid him on the floor. She also said she knew infants should be placed on their back, not on their stomach. She also said she was aware infants that young shouldn’t sleep with blankets.
Ableidinger’s cause of death was “undetermined” by the Dakota County Medical Examiner. His blood was sent to the Minnesota Genetic Arrhythmia Center for genetic testing. After tests revealed he didn’t have any illness or disease, his cause of death was determined as probably positional asphyxia.
Over the years, Dakota County Child Care Licensing workers have spoken with Greenagel on proper infant sleeping arrangements. They sent a letter in 1999, issued a written reminder in 2002 and was documented for placing an infant on the floor for a nap in 2007.
After Greenagel’s sentencing, Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom issued a statement to the victim’s family.
“Our deepest sympathy is extended to the family of Dane Ableidinger for their great loss,” Backstrom said.