Emmetsburg Daycare Provider Charged in Child’s Death Pleads Not Guilty

A daycare provider in Emmetsburg who has been charged in connection to the death of a child has pleaded not guilty.

28-year-old Hannah Priest is charged with one count of Child Endangerment Resulting in Death. According to court documents, Priest found a 23-month-old child unresponsive in his sleeping cot back on January 19th of this year. Priest was the child’s daycare provider. The child was eventually transported to a hospital in Des Moines, where he died five days later. According to an autopsy, the child died from brain trauma consistent with injuries that were inflicted.

During the course of several interviews with authorities, Priest denied that the child suffered any accidental head injuries while in her care, and also denied that any other kids at the daycare struck the child. During one interview, Priest reportedly admitted being frustrated with the child around nap time because he hadn’t gone to the bathroom that day. Priest also admitted to putting the child into the cot by his shoulders and might not have known her own strength when doing so. Priest allegedly admitted to putting the child into the cot out of frustration.

Priest was arrested earlier this month on September 1st following an investigation by the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation. She was released from jail after posting a 50-thousand dollar bond. A jury trial is scheduled in February of next year.


Kathleen “Kay” Schmitt

Kathleen “Kay” Schmitt passed away peacefully at her home on the afternoon of June 18, 2024, surrounded by her three daughters.

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