Charges: Toddler died choking on food while left unattended at unlicensed Bloomington day care

A Bloomington woman is facing criminal charges after a 1-year-old child died choking on food while at her unlicensed in-home day care last fall.

Court documents show 50-year-old Kristina Marie Elder is charged with one count of second-degree manslaughter in connection with the child’s death last fall.

According to a criminal complaint, on Nov. 28, Elder fed the child lunch and then went to do other things around the house. She told police that she knew the boy tended to pack food in his mouth and that she should check to make sure he swallowed everything.

Elder told investigators she returned to the room to see the child blue in the lips. She performed a finger sweep and cleared some food out of his mouth but she was worried she may have pushed food further down the child’s throat and stopped. Afterward, the child’s eyes opened and some color returned to his face.

Elder didn’t call 911 or contact the parents at this time, the complaint states.

The babysitter left the child once more, and when she came back, he was motionless, “appeared lifeless,” and his lips were blue again. Elder finally called 911, but she couldn’t give a timeframe from when she did a finger sweep to when she found the child unresponsive again.

The child was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced deceased despite life-saving measures. An autopsy determined he died of a lack of oxygen to the brain caused by food obstructing his airways.

Elder was charged via summons and is not in custody. Her first appearance is set for June 20.

A family member of the boy shared a fundraiser.