Babysitter accused of biting infant

Katlyn Morningstar

FRONT ROYAL – Authorities claim a babysitter bit an infant in her care a year ago.

A grand jury in Warren County Circuit Court indicted Katlyn Beth Morningstar this week on one count of abuse or neglect of a child while the parent, guardian or person responsible for the victim.

Morningstar, 28, of 510 Grant Ave., Front Royal, remains free on bond. She is scheduled to appear in the circuit court on March 5.

A judge in Warren County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court certified Morningstar’s charge to the grand jury, which met Monday. A criminal complaint filed in the case by Front Royal police detective J.A. Lethcoe states that the child’s mother dropped off the 3-month-old infant at 510 Grand Ave., on Jan. 31, 2017, to be cared for by Morningstar.

“When (the mother) picked the child up the following day, she discovered what appeared to be bruises from human teeth all over the baby’s body,” the complaint states. “The child was transported to the hospital where she was examined by an on call forensic nurse.

“The bitemarks on the child’s body were examined and determined to be human bite marks,” the complaint goes on to state.

Court documents did not indicate whether or not the infant required treatment for the injuries at a hospital.

Lethcoe notes in the complaint that he interviewed Morningstar and discovered that she, her boyfriend and their daughter had access to the infant during the time the injuries could have occurred.

“A follow up interview with Katlyn Morningstar revealed that she believed she alone was responsible for the bite marks on (the infant),” the complaint states. “Morningstar stated that her boyfriend was not home during the time this occurred and her daughter did not do this. Morningstar stated that she had to have done it, only she didn’t remember it.”

A judge in the lower court late last February allowed Morningstar to remain free on her own recognizance on the condition she have no contact with the infant nor have a custodial or supervisory role of any children other than her daughter.

Abuse or neglect of a child in this case is treated as a Class 6 felony, punishable by up to five years in prison or no more than 12 months in jail.