Daycare workers accused of failing to report suspected abuse before child found dead, police say

West Melbourne PD

Four people are facing charges after West Melbourne police say they failed to report suspected abuse of a 3-year-old boy who was later found dead. 

Three daycare workers and a child protective investigator are accused of not reporting alleged signs of abuse on Jameson Nance while he attended Health First Center for Child Development on Sheridan Road in Melbourne. 

RELATED: State seeks death penalty against mom, boyfriend accused in toddler's killing

Jaymie Gaucher, Elizabeth Fowler, Kristal Samuel, and Dallas Jasper are facing charges of failure to report known or suspected child abuse.

Elizabeth Fowler

Kristal Samuel

Fowler and Samuel have been arrested. An arrest warrant has been issued for Gaucher. 

According to a Melbourne police report, on June 2, Jameson's mother brought him to the daycare where staff noted "yellow in color" bruises on his forehead, ear and jaw, with more bruises on his cheek.

His mother reportedly told Fowler that his injuries were caused by a duck that had attacked him while they were at the lake. His mother later changed her story, stating that Jameson was wearing a floaty and he fell in the water and was scratched by a duck. 

Photos of the boy's injuries were taken, according to the report. It goes on to say that another daycare worker, Gaucher, showed the photos to Jasper, the child protective investigator, told him the duck story, and asked if she should make a report to the Department of Children and Families. 

Jasper reportedly told the worker that if the child's and mother's stories were consistent with one another, "there was not much DCF could do." The report states that the worker did not specify if Jasper told her a "yes" or "no" answer about making a report. 

Daycare worker Samuel reportedly spoke with the boy's mother at the end of the day when she came to pick up Jameson, where she again told the duck attack story.

Days later, Jameson was found dead. 

In August, state prosecutors said they intend to seek the death penalty against Jameson's mother, Erica Beth Dotson, and her boyfriend, Joshua Andrew Manns.

Authorities said Jameson died after he suffered through and experienced significant pain and abuse over a three-week span."

"Our hearts continue to ache for Jameson’s family, and Health First has been actively cooperating with investigators on this unimaginable tragedy," the daycare said in a statement. "We have terminated the employment of the associates involved in the Jameson Nance case. Health First will continue to work with law enforcement to get justice for Jameson."

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