One year after the tragedy of a nine-week old boy dying while in the care of employees at Highland Park-based Above and Beyond Child Care Center, Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey announced that three former employees of Above and Beyond were placed on probationary terms. They were charged with failing to adequately care for the nine-week old child.
Tanya Choy, 36, of Martinsville was placed on a three-year probationary term known as Pre-Trial Intervention(PTI) after pleading guilty to a count of endangering the welfare of the child. She admitted that she placed the infant face-down in a crib at the Above and Beyond Child Care Center on South Third Avenue and failed to check on the welfare of the infant, who died on September 10, 2014.
Her co-workers, Lorie McDermott, 49, of Milltown, and Blanca Jimenez, 61, of Edison, who also had been charged with child endangerment, were admitted to PTI for two years.
Each of the three is required to pay the infant’s family $1,704.01 in restitution to cover some family expenses.
The charges will be dismissed for each of the defendants upon successful completion of the program. The three were admitted to the program following agreements reached with Middlesex County Assistant Prosecutor Lisa Miralles Walsh. Superior Court Judge Diane Pincus in New Brunswick approved the agreements.
The defendants were charged following an investigation by Detective Don Newton of the Highland Park Police Department and Detective Sgt. Frank DiNinno of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office. The investigation began when Highland Park police were dispatched to the day care center and arrived to find the infant was non-responsive.
Police rushed the infant to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, where he was pronounced dead. Sudden Infant Death was determined to be the cause. A contributing factor was that the infant was placed on his stomach and left unattended for two hours.