Woman pleads guilty to causing baby’s death at unlicensed daycare facility in Upper Southampton
An Upper Southampton Township woman admitted on Tuesday, June 21, 2022, to causing the asphyxiation death of an 11-month-old girl at an illegal daycare facility the woman ran out of her home.
Lauren Elizabeth Landgrebe, 50, of the 1500 block of Rosebud Road, pleaded guilty before President Judge Wallace H. Bateman Jr., to felony counts of involuntary manslaughter, endangering welfare of children, operating a daycare facility without a license and tampering with evidence.
The baby died Aug. 27, 2019, from asphyxiation by strangulation after being placed incorrectly in a car seat and left unattended for about two hours. The baby was one of eight children in Landgrebe’s care that day.
Landgrebe also pleaded no contest to a count of receiving stolen property stemming from the theft of Social Security Disability funds, which detectives discovered while investigating the child’s death.
Sentencing was deferred for 20 days. Several relatives attended Monday’s hearing and two read victim impact statements with the baby’s great aunt saying that Landgrebe’s “bad, selfish actions has affected every branch of our family tree.”
Upper Southampton Township police were dispatched just after 4 p.m. on Aug. 27, 2019, to Landgrebe’s home on a report of an unresponsive baby who was partially strapped in a car seat on the dining room table. The baby was taken to Abington Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 5:15 p.m.
The child’s death was investigated by township police and Bucks County Detectives, who found that Landgrebe placed the baby in the car seat at 1 p.m. for a nap and she went outside to lay by the swimming pool at her residence, Deputy District Attorney Monica W. Furber said.
At 2 p.m., Landgrebe returned and gave the baby a bottle, which she propped up on a rolled hand towel because the baby could not hold the bottle herself. Landgrebe again left the room and spent the next two hours by the pool and did not return to check on the child until 4 p.m.
During an interview with investigators, Landgrebe said she took a photo of the napping baby at some point after 2 p.m., which she deleted while her husband was on the phone with 911 and performing CPR on the child, Furber said.
Investigators were able to recover the photo, which showed the baby slumped low in the car seat with the chest strap around her neck. The photo showed the car seat’s leg straps were not engaged. The leg straps would have prevented the baby from sliding down in the seat, Furber said.
During an autopsy, a mark consistent with a chest strap buckle was found on the baby's neck, and the coroner determined the baby died from asphyxia due to strangulation from a car seat restraint.
The case was investigated by Bucks County Detectives and the Upper Southampton Township Police Department and was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Monica W. Furber.
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