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Alabama Daycare Worker Accused of Allegedly Abusing, Beating up Infant Before His Death: Police

The parents of a child who died in daycare are urging others to be aware of possible danger signs.
Cover Image Source: YouTube/WSFA 12 News
Cover Image Source: YouTube/WSFA 12 News

A 68-year-old woman has been arrested by the police on suspicion of a child's death, WSFA reported. The suspect, identified as Versa Mae Simmons, worked at a daycare center in Demopolis, Alabama, where the child was left by his parents. Court records state that the woman caused his death "by willfully abusing, cruelly beating, or otherwise willfully maltreating” him on multiple occasions.

The exact cause of death is yet to be revealed by the authorities, and Simmons is currently being held at Marengo County Detention Center, according to Wiregrass Daily News. A bond of $1 million has been set for Simmons, and she is being charged with murder and four counts of aggravated child abuse. The authorities have not clarified if the abuse charges are related to the victim or someone else.

The victim has been identified as Brayden Paul Robertson. His parents had left Brayden at Tender Year Daycare as a healthy boy and came back to find his lifeless body on the changing table. The boy was just 6 months old when he succumbed to the alleged abuse at the hands of Simmons, police said.


Simmons was employed with the daycare center and was identified as the suspect by the police after the investigation. ”Monsters come in all shapes and sizes and people you never would think, so don’t be fooled,” the boy's mother said.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Pixabay
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Pixabay

She added, “He didn’t have a voice. He couldn’t tell me ‘Momma, I don’t want to go here.' Every afternoon he would light up when we would go pick him up, either one, and of course you just think that’s your baby excited to see you. But now as a mother, it makes me wonder, are you so excited because I’m finally taking you away from something that you don’t like.”

The parents had noted scratch marks on Brayden's body and voiced their concerns to daycare. They reportedly explained away the marks away by claiming that the boy had scratched himself with his fingernails.


After the child's death, the parents want other parents to watch out for such warning signs, saying, “Ask all the questions. If you think it wasn’t his fingernails? Ask. Ask for video footage. Ask. I wish I could go back and change a lot, but I can’t.“

The parents are sharing their story with the objective of helping others. "Losing a child is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to endure, but losing a child that you shouldn’t have lost because they were perfect and they were perfectly healthy is something different. And I don’t want any other mom or daddy to feel like this," she said. As for Simmons, it isn't clear if she has filed a plea or retained a lawyer after being charged with abusing, beating, and mistreating the child leading to his death, The DailyMail reported.

Note: People who suspect child abuse are urged to call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to www.childhelp.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential.

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