Three former daycare workers at Health First Center For Child Development in Melbourne were arrested this week on charges they failed to report injuries seen on a 3-year-old boy who was later killed.

Daycare worker Elizabeth Fowler, assistant director Kristal Samuel and director Jaymie Gaucher all face charges of failure to report suspected child abuse, abandonment and/or neglect.

What You Need To Know

  •  Jameson Nance, 3, was allegedly killed by his mother and her boyfriend in June of 2021

  •  Three former daycare workers were arrested this week and charged with not reporting suspected abuse

  • According to a Melbourne Police Department report, the three were aware of the boys injuries, and even took photos of them, but never filed an official report

According to a Melbourne Police Department report, all three were not only aware of Jameson Nance's injuries in early June of 2021 — which he blamed on a duck attack — but took photos, which were shown to a Florida Department of Children and Families investigator who was at the daycare for an unrelated reason.

Despite that, investigators say an official report about the suspected abuse was never made. 

According to an investigation conducted after Nance's death, the boy was observed by staff with multiple bruises on his head and face, and an abrasion on one ear on June 2, 2021.

Information from the Melbourne Police Department shows that the boy told them he was injured by a duck that attacked him at a pond near his home, a story that was confirmed by his mother when she came to pick him up that day.

Investigators say they did not find any records showing the suspected abuse was ever called in to authorities as required by law, despite photographs being taken of the boy's injuries.

According to the Melbourne police report, a DCF investigator, who was at the daycare at the time, told the daycare workers if the boy's story was consistent with his mother's, there was not much they could do. 

That investigator, who was not named, was later fired.

"(The investigator) had been made aware of (the child's) egregious injury by the daycare, was present at the daycare at the same time as (the child) but did not visit (the child) in person, failed to report suspected child abuse ... and never intervened," the investigative report said.

Nance's mother Erica Dotson and her boyfriend Joshua Manns, of West Melbourne, were arrested in connection with the boy's death on June 11, 2021.

Both remain in the Brevard County Jail on charges of first-degree murder, manslaughter of a child, aggravated child abuse and aggravated assault. 

If convicted, they could face the death penalty.

After Nance's death, an autopsy revealed he had a broken rib and had been stabbed seven times in the head.

It also stated that evidence showed the 3-year-old had been abused for at least three weeks prior to his death.

"It's important for everyone to be the eyes and ears, and be protective of children," said Kathy Heron, a child advocate and board member with Friends of Children of Brevard.

She said it's critical for the wellbeing of any child that suspected abuse be reported.

"It's difficult to find out what's going on inside the home," Heron said. "I think the system relies on people like teachers, daycare workers and everyday citizens to give them advice on what families they need to look at closer."

Officials with Health First said the three daycare employees had been fired.

Health First provided the following statement when asked if staff is required to go through training for identifying and reporting child abuse:

“Our hearts continue to ache for Jameson’s family, and Health First has been actively cooperating with investigators on this unimaginable tragedy. We have terminated the employment of the associates involved in the Jameson Nance case. Health First will continue to work with law enforcement to get justice for Jameson.”