Donnellson daycare provider charged with endangerment

Arrest stems from December incident that resulted in child’s death


DONNELLSON, Iowa – A supervisor and teacher at a Donnellson day care center was arrested today in connection with the death of a child that occurred in December, according to a release from the Iowa Department of Public Safety.

On December 3, 2018 at approximately 8:48 a.m., the Lee County Emergency Medical Service Paramedics were dispatched and responded to an unresponsive child at the Raisin Em Up Daycare, located at 607 Park Street, Donnellson.

The child was transported to the Fort Madison Community Hospital and later transported to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics where the child was provided advanced medical treatment. On December 11, 2018 the child was withdrawn from life support and was pronounced deceased.

On Thursday, Laura McDowell, the site supervisor and lead teacher of the daycare was charged with the crime of Child Endangerment Causing a Death, a Class B Felony. McDowell was booked into the Lee County Jail pursuant to a warrant. McDowell is being held on a $25,000 cash bond.


This was a joint investigation by the Donnellson Police Department, the Lee County Attorney’s Office, the Iowa Department of Human Services, and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.

The arrest comes on the heels of 15 complaints that were released by the Iowa Department of Human Services on the facility where the death occurred and another Raisin’ Em Up learning center in Donnellson. Those complaints were from unannounced visits to the center in April and June of this year.

The complaints listed were varied, including staff sleeping while children were under their supervision, duplicating medications, unlawful transportation, failure to use curriculum, leaving children on buses unattended, and improper ratios of supervisors to children.

According to the release no other information will be released at this time.

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