Two women charged in separate child deaths in Sussex County

SUSSEX COUNTY – Two women in Sussex County believed to be responsible for the deaths of children in two separate cases have been indicted and arrested, Delaware State Polilce and the Department of Justice said Thursday.

Both women were indicted by a grand jury on Monday.

Valorie Handy

Valorie Handy

Valorie Handy, 51, of Millsboro, was indicted on one charge of murder by abuse or neglect first degree in the death of a 10-month old victim in her day care in January. The case had been ruled a homicide.

On Jan. 28, around 2:15 p.m., troopers were dispatched to Handy’s Little Disciples day care located at 28194 Layton-Davis Road after a 9-1-1 call was received from the home.

The caller said a 10-month-old child was unresponsive. Preliminary investigation suggests a day-care worker attempted to wake the 10-month-old-male from a nap, and upon doing so, observed the infant unresponsive, according to a joint press release issued by the state police and justice department

The child was taken by EMS to Beebe Healthcare in Lewes where he later was pronounced dead.

On Wednesday, Ms. Handy was taken into custody near her residence and presented before the Sussex County Superior Court. She was committed to Delores J. Baylor Women’s Correctional Institution in Wilmington in default of $100,000 cash bond.

In the second unrelated case, Detoshia Spence, 23, of Laurel, was indicted on the charges of murder by abuse or neglect first degree, two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, two counts of child abuse second degree and offensive touching in the death of her 3-year old daughter in April.

Detoshia D. Spence

Detoshia D. Spence

The preliminary investigation began April 17 at approximately 7:17 p.m. after a call was received by the Sussex County Emergency Operations Center reporting a CPR in progress.

The Laurel Police Department, Laurel Fire Department and Sussex County Paramedics were dispatched to the 900 block of Daniel Street, Carvel Gardens in Laurel.

The victim’s body was turned over to the Division of Forensic Sciences where an autopsy was performed. The manner of death was ruled a homicide.

On Wednesday, Ms. Spence turned herself in at state police Troop 4 and then was presented before Sussex County Superior Court. She was committed to Delores J. Baylor Women’s Correctional Institution in default of an $111,100.00 cash bond.

“The deaths of children at the hands of those who are supposed to be caring for them are tragic and heartbreaking cases,” Attorney General Matt Denn said in the press release.

Mr. Denn praised the investigative efforts of the state police, the justice department and Deputy Attorney General Melanie Withers.

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