For months, a mother in Reynoldsburg, Ohio entrusted her two children to a seemingly innocent-looking woman who she thought she could trust. However, while Katie Mulkey was working hard for her family all day, the babysitter had a sick naptime ritual with her baby boy that Mulkey didn’t learn about until it was too late.
When Katie Mulkey dropped her 8-month-old baby boy and older daughter off at Lori Conley’s house, she assumed everything would be the same when she went to pick them up after work. She couldn’t have been more wrong. Mulkey got a call before leaving work on May 13, delivering some bad news about what the babysitter had done that went too far. Now, the woman responsible is in jail.
Conley provided daycare in her suburban home for a total of eight children, two of which were Mulkey’s. Neighbors surrounding the home daycare were alarmed that afternoon when Conley came running out of her home and was acting hysterical in her front yard while holding Mulkey’s infant son Haddix. The boy was lifeless and blue, but nobody knew why until well after he arrived at the hospital where he later died.
Mulkey said her son was healthy and never had any issues, so his sudden death came as a horrific surprise. It wasn’t until an autopsy was performed that the family found out what Conley had done to the baby to get him to sleep.
The boy suffered brain swelling and had fluid in his lungs, which were determined to have been caused by an overdose. The home daycare owner had given him an adult-sized portion of the antihistamine Benadryl, hoping it would knock him out — which it did.
“She told us it was Benadryl to try to get the baby to go to sleep,” Lieutenant Ron Wright told WBNS. “She was very vague on exactly how much, but she did give adult size dosages — the pills that are adult size dosages.” Claiming ignorance of the appropriate dosage wasn’t going to work since it very clearly states on the box, “Children under 6: DO NOT USE.”
After more than two weeks of investigation into the fatal incident, Conley was arrested this past Friday and charged with murder and child endangerment. “I just really want justice for my baby,” Mulkey said. “Because this is something that was robbed from me, that was taken away.”
While this certainly could have been a horrible mistake, giving the kid too much of the common over-the-counter medication, the woman should have never given someone else’s child medicine without the parent’s permission. The daycare worker was collecting a check on each one of those kids, and in my opinion, she was taking the easy way out of doing her job, medicating the baby so he would sleep the majority of the time so she’d have one less child to have to manage.