WATERLOO — Waterloo police have arrested the operator of an in-home day care in connection with the June death of a toddler.
Amy Lynn Hangartner, 41, of Waterloo, was arrested Wednesday night for child endangerment causing death. She was taken to the Black Hawk County Jail and released Thursday morning.
Police said Hangartner was operating the unlicensed day care at 1415 Bertch Ave. when 18-month-old Brody Harrelson was discovered unresponsive June 17. He was later pronounced dead at Covenant Medical Center.
Authorities said Brody had been placed in a car seat and left in a second-floor closet for a nap. No one had checked on the child for about two hours before he was found unconscious, according to court records.
Hangartner placed Brody in the seat, and witnesses said he wasn’t completely strapped in. Only the strap across his chest was fastened. When he was found unconscious, it appeared as if he had slid down in the seat and the strap was over his neck, one witness told investigators.
An autopsy ruled the death was accidental and determined he died of mechanical or positional asphyxia, according to the death certificate. The certificate listed an inflammation of the heart as a possible contributing factor.
Child endangerment causing death is punishable by up to 50 years in prison upon conviction.