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May 29, 2014: Burbank Day Care Owner Sentenced for Infant Death

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Ricardo Santiago, Public Information Officer
(213) 257-2000

The owner of an in-home day care center was sentenced today to six years in state prison for her role in the 2012 death of an 11-month-old boy left in her care, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Deputy District Attorney Tamu Usher said Milena Nikodijevic, 52, pleaded no contest on May 7 to one count of child endangerment causing death.

One of Nikodijevic’s employees, Wendy Roxana Oropeza, 22, pleaded no contest to one count of involuntary manslaughter on Jan. 13.

At that time, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Elaine Lu of the Pasadena Branch sentenced Oropeza to one year in county jail, five years probation and 32 hours of community service.

They are both barred from working as child care providers.

The victim was an 11-month-old boy named Adam. He was left at Nikodijevic’s Burbank day care, Twinkle Twinkle Little Stars, in the 200 block of Santa Anita Avenue on Feb. 1, 2012.

Oropeza improperly secured the boy in another child's car seat inside the day care. The infant fell asleep in the car seat and was asphyxiated by the chest strap, according to the prosecutor.

Nikodijevic had three times the number of children under the age of two in her care than her license allowed. She had previously been cited for having too many children under the age of two in her care, Usher added.

The case was investigated by the Burbank Police Department.