Bond granted for Myrtle Beach daycare employee arrested in child abuse investigation

Bond granted for Myrtle Beach daycare employee arrested in child abuse investigation
Lona Lee Thomas (Source: MBPD)

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) – A bond hearing was held Friday morning for a daycare employee accused of hurting a seven-month-old baby.

A judge gave 51-year-old Lona Lee Thomas a $7,500 bond. She is charged with infliction of great bodily injury upon a child.

The investigation started when officers were called on Nov. 1 to the Busy Bodies Day Care on Highway 15 for a report of an unresponsive infant.

According to an arrest warrant, the investigation and medical examination determined the child suffered great bodily injury while in the care of Thomas. Police said Thomas was the only person responsible for the welfare of the child.

The child was taken to Grand Strand Medical Center before being transferred to MUSC in Charleston for further treatment, the warrant states. Police said the victim is in critical condition.

“We continue to hold the victim and family in our thoughts and offer prayers for a full recovery,” the Myrtle Beach Police Department said in a press release.

Police said Thomas was responsible for the seven-month-old’s care when the incident happened last week.

However, Thomas’ employer, Gladys Knuesel, said she’s not responsible for what happened. Her side of the story is that the baby started choking while in Thomas’ care.

Knuesel, the daycare’s director, said Thomas did not cause that choking to happen. She said Thomas has worked in the child care industry for decades, and is one of her top employees. S

“I was very shocked for that to have been a decision that was made. I completely do not believe it’s correct, not correct at all,” Knuesel said.

The police department said that this is still an active investigation.

They’re asking anyone with information in the case to come forward and contact the Myrtle Beach police at 843-918-1382.

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