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Day-Care Center Shut Down After Child's Death

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Jan 31, 2009 5:00PM

2009_01_31_lincolnshire.jpg Minee Subee in the Park, the Lincolnshire day-care center where a worker killed a 16-month-old child a few weeks ago, was shut down yesterday by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. Melissa Calusinski (pictured right) is accused of throwing toddler Benjamin Kingan to the floor after she became frustrated with his being noisy. The incident occurred on January 13 and Benjamin died the next day from a skull fracture suffered in the incident.

As parents picked up their children, they witnessed the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force hauling off the day-care center's files. In spite of both Benjamin's death and the closing, many parents remained supportive of the center.

Another parent, Rebecca Ullrich, the mother of two girls ages 3 and 5 had nothing but praise for the day-care center as she strapped her children into their car seats in her blue van.

"We still trust this day-care center, and we've really had a wonderful experience here. They have a wonderful staff," Ullrich said.

DCFS spokesman Kendall Marlowe said in a statement:

Today DCFS ordered the closure of the Minee Subee in the Park day care center in Lincolnshire, pending the outcome of criminal and child protection investigations. We have coordinated our efforts with law enforcement throughout...Our hearts are with the family of Benjamin Kingan, and we share the concern and pain that all parents feel when they hear of such a tragedy. DCFS is referring parents of children attending this center to alternate resources for day care.

Calusinski has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder - to which she pled not guilty - and is being held on $5 million bail. [Trib, CBS]