Day Care Center Owner Charged With Murder of Infant in Maryland

Day Care Center Owner Charged With Murder of Infant in Maryland

The owner of a day care center in Maryland was charged with murder after a 6-month-old girl in his care was rushed to a hospital and later died, police said.

Miller “Millie” Lilliston, of Rockville, was taken to a hospital when she began vomiting on April 19 at Little Dreamers Creative Learning Center, a licensed home day care provider on Grandin Avenue, Montgomery County Police said.

Doctors found the infant had multiple injuries that were the result of repeated incidents of abuse. The baby died three days later, on April 22.

Kia Divban, 35, was charged with second-degree murder and first-degree child abuse and was held on $2 million bond.

Divband told detectives Lilliston began choking and vomiting as he fed her milk as she sat in her stroller. When the infant stopped vomiting, he took her into a bathroom to clean her face and saw she was unresponsive and her lips had turned blue.

He said he performed CPR and yelled to his wife to call 911.

At Shady Grove Adventist Hospital, doctors saw several injuries on the baby, including rib fractures and bruises on her face and body, according to police. Lilliston then was flown to Children’s National Medical Center.

Doctors found injuries in various stages of healing, which were the result of “non-accidental, inflicted trauma,” police said.

Lilliston’s parents said she had been in good condition, with no serious injuries, when they dropped her off at day care that morning. They had a photo of Lilliston from the day before that showed no facial bruising, police said.

Police and prosecutors said Lilliston’s injuries, along with evidence recovered from the day care, revealed her death was caused by injuries from repeated physical abuse.

“I think the total is 11 or 12 of her ribs were broken,” Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy said. “There was head trauma.”

Her death was ruled a homicide caused by multiple blunt-force injuries.

Divband, of Rockville, appeared in court Tuesday afternoon. His lawyer, Terrence McGann, said his client is innocent.

“The statement of charges, which you heard in court today, is just an allegation,” he said.

Little Dreamers was registered with the Maryland State Department of Education’s Office of Child Care. The business was registered in July 2015 and was not due for another inspection until this July, state officials said. No complaints about the center had been filed with the state.

Little Dreamers was inspected after Divband was charged, and the owner relinquished the license. The day care center is closed with a suspended license, state officials said.

The Little Dreamers’ website said Divband and his wife ran the facility. Divand immigrated to the U.S. as a child and lived in D.C. for years, according to the page, which was later removed. He worked in early childhood education for more than a decade and had been a camp counselor in D.C., Bethesda and Silver Spring, the page said.

The prosecutor said the focus is on getting justice for Lilliston.

“[With] her injuries, she really didn’t have much of a chance when she left that home,” McCarthy said.

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