Worker charged in day care death

  • Melissa Calusinski, 22, of Carpentersville

    Melissa Calusinski, 22, of Carpentersville

By Nadia Malik
Daily Herald Staff
Published1/17/2009 3:07 PM

A 22-year-old Carpentersville woman was charged today with two counts of first-degree murder in the death of a 16-month-old boy at the Lincolnshire day care center where she worked.

Lincolnshire police said that Melissa M. Calusinski, of the 500 block of Apache Avenue in Carpentersville, worked as a teacher's assistant at Minee-Subee Day Care Center on Marriott Drive. She was being held in custody Saturday in lieu of $5 million bail.


Police say Calusinski told investigators in a videotaped statement that on Wednesday, she threw 16-month-old Benjamin Kingan of Deerfield to the ground at the day care center. The boy was taken to the hospital, where he later died. An autopsy confirmed the cause of death to be blunt force trauma to the head, police said.

The Lincolnshire Police Department, with help from the Lake County Major Crime Task Force and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, are investigating the death.

Kendall Marlowe, a spokesman for DCFS, said the agency is looking into an allegation of death by neglect of the day care center.

"We have had no prior child protection investigations of this center," he said.

The facility has been licensed since 1994 and has the capacity to hold 145 children, ranging from ages of 6 weeks old to 12 years, he said. The facility operates from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Daily Herald Staff Writer Matt Arado contributed to this report.

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