Kailee Rhianne Marie Hundley
February 12, 2007 - March 25, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial
Kailee Rhianne Marie Hundley had recently celebrated her very first birthday. Pictures were taken of her as she ate birthday cake and opened presents.

One month later, the family who loved her so much, would have to prepare themselves to say good bye to her.

 "We had big plans for her. We knew what we wanted for her. 
And we can't believe this"
Tressa Hays - Kailee's Aunt

In spite of an open investigation against her by the Kansas Department Of Health And Environment, Jessica Cummings ran a home daycare and was licensed in the state of Kansas, BY the state of Kansas to take care of children in her home. On March 25, 2008, Kailee was dropped off at this home daycare. That would be the last time her family would see her alive.

Tiffanie Williams was bothered by the crying and noises that Kailee was making

while drinking a bottle while she was trying to sleep after working late and then going to visit her boyfriend. Jessica Cummings decided to take care of the problem.

Jessica Cummings strapped Kailee into her car seat, which was too small for her, tightly strapping her in she the put her in a laundry room bathroom for a nap. Two hours went by before she would check on Kailee and by then, she would already be dead. It would later be revealed that Kailee strangled on the car seat strap. Kailee's family said that if they had known naps were taken in car seats, she never would have been going to that daycare and they wouldn't have to attend a funeral for her:

"We can't undo it now and that's just really sucks."
Tressa Hays

Tressa Hays said that Kailee was big enough to use a toddler car seat which was in the car at all times. Comments by Tressa Hays confirm that Kailee enjoyed going to this daycare and that it was thought that Jessica did a good job. Tressa says she believes that the death of her niece was an accident, though she still said Jessica is to blame:

 "I do believe Jessica loved her. That's why I'm trying to find in my heart to not hate her 
but right now I do"

A neighbor and friend of Jessica's said that she had spent time in her daycare when she brought her daughter over for play dates. The friend said that Jessica loved children and was good at her job. The friend also said that she would trust Jessica with her daughter and that even though she was hurting for both families, she would support Jessica through this case.

The Kansas Department Of Health And Environment was investigating Jessica and said they couldn't speak about the case since it was still an open case. Jessica had been licensed since August, though that license had been suspended since the death of Kailee.

Wichita Police turned over the case to the district attorney which is procedure in cases of the death of a child. The police also wouldn't comment on the Kansas Department Of Health And Environments on going investigation and didn't immediately release the cause of Kailee's death.

Mike Hundley had sole custody of Kailee since her mother had recently been jailed on suspicion in the first degree murder of a stepdaughter, Daytona Robertson who was the daughter of her then husband, Tommy Robertson.

On Saturday, March 29, 2008, family and friends gathered at the Westlink Christian Church to pay their respects and say their good byes to Kailee at her funeral.

On April 16, 2008, Jessica Cummings was in court facing the charge of involuntary manslaughter. It was revealed around that same time that the investigation against her was due to not reporting suspected child abuse and instead just taking pictures of the abuse that took place towards a two year old girl that she took care of. The complaint was filed the day after Daytona Robertson died of child abuse. Kailee and Daytona were stepsisters who both attended Jessica's daycare. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for April 30th and Jessica was let
out of jail on a $10,000. bond.

Kailee's family was upset about the charge saying it was not severe enough for what she had done to Kailee:

"This is as bad as it gets. Losing your child, your baby. It doesn't get any worse than that. 
It's just another slap in the face. Another punch in the gut" 

Prosecutors said the even though they hold Jessica Cummings accountable for the death of Kailee, they feel that her death was not done intentionally. Tressa Hays disagreed with them:

"Everything about that day was preventable"

Kailee's family was going to meet with the Safe Kids Coalition to help in finding ways to improve regulations for daycare providers.

In December of 2008, Jessica Cummings was back in court where she would say that she didn't mean any harm to Kailee Jessica also stated that she knew the procedure when putting children down for naps and that it included that children under the age of 18 months MUST sleep in a crib or a play pen:

"Not a car seat, not an infant carrier, not a stroller attachment"
Shannon Wilson's closing argument

Defense attorney John Stang said that Jessica could not have known that Kailee was in any danger by being put down for a nap in the car seat since this is something parents have done often when taking their children on long car trips. John Stang had a diagram showing how close Jessica was to the area where Kailee was sleeping:

"She was, what, 8 feet away?"

John Stang again said that Jessica could not have foreseen what would happen to Kailee adding that Deborah Johnson, the coroner who did the autopsy on Kailee, said she had never seen a case like this.

"But what did Dr. Johnson also say? She said in no uncertain terms never leave a child 
unattended in a car seat."
Shannon Wilson

It was determined that Kailee had been improperly strapped into the car seat and had slipped down allowing the straps to strangle her.

A jury took about five hours to find her guilty of the charge of involuntary manslaughter. Jessica is facing more than 2 1/2 years in prison for her part in the death of Kailee Robertson. In order to find Jessica guilty the jury had to come to the conclusion that she had put Kailee in danger deliberately by strapping her into the car seat and leaving her alone in the bathroom:

"In an extremely difficult case, they followed the law"
Assistant District Attorney Shannon Wilson 

After hearing the verdict, Jessica broke down into tears. Kailee's family was also crying.

"Hopefully, if any good comes out of this, it will get people to realize the risks to children by leaving 
them unattended in a car seat"
Assistant District Attorney Shannon Wilson 

Jessica was seven months pregnant at the time of her hearing and would leave the court house free on bond.

On October 9, 2008, Kailee's great grandmother, Opal Marie Hundley died. Kailee is now safely with a grandmother who loved her. A memorial fund has been set up for Kailee at Intrust Bank.

UPDATE:

Jessica was sentenced to two years and eight months in prison, such a small price to pay for what she did to this little Angel. In March of 2013, the Kansas Supreme Court was considering an appeal based on questions of intent and if the jury should have been given instruction requested by the defense, on rules related to convicting someone of involuntary manslaughter if it was believed to be a "freak accident".

I find it disgusting that this woman killed a child, took that child away from her parents for the rest of their lives, yet she doesn't seem to feel she should have to do less than three years in prison.

The Supreme Court ruled that Jessica deserved a new trial based on the improper instructions to the jury about endangering a child. Jessica said that the state needed to prove that she knew putting Kailee into a car seat would be dangerous for her. I guess all of the warnings all over car seats about how you SHOULD NOT leave a child unattended in a cars eat were not enough to make her realize the danger she put children in.

A Forensic Pathologist said that Kailee was too big for this car set and her weight had caused the seat to tip forward putting a strain on her neck and regardless of how small or big the car seat was, a child should not be left unattended in a car seat, also pointing out that the seat warnings indicated the same. Jessica said that thought it was safe and she had even put her own children in that very car seat.

Jessica was paroled on April 5, 2013.

Kailee,

I love you so much. I miss your beautiful smile and your bright blue eyes. I miss your big big wet kisses and your high fives. This world does not seem fair but one day I will be in heaven with you.

Until then have fun with your big sister "Day Day" and your little brother Daylee. I miss you and love you, You are forever my baby.

Love Daddy

12/19/2008
Christopher Keane

In Kansas, Jessica Cummings was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the strangulation death of a 13-month-old girl found dead partially strapped in a car seat while at day care. On March 25, 2008, the child died and was found two hours later in the bathroom partially strapped in her car seat. New stories report she was placed in a bathroom partially strapped in her infant seat to finish her bottle.  

Studies show that caregiver supervision and an effective strategy that keeps the child in the caregiver’s view reduces the frequency of injury. It is also known that a lapse in supervision where the child is not in view correlates with a higher incidence of child injury. This may seem to be an obvious statement. However, even if the caregiver is highly conscientious there remains an increased risk for injury during intervals when the child is not in view. So whether a child caregiver is regarded as highly conscientious or not-highly conscientious, the risk for injury to a child is still higher when the child is not in the view of the caregiver. Close supervision contributes directly to reduced events of injury.  

<>A child has died tragically at a day care, from a day care provider's neglect. This is wrongful death. The Keane Law Firm represents children that have been catastrophically injured from neglect by day care providers. Please call us, the child injury law firm for a timely case evaluation at 888-592-KIDS or 415-398-2777.  You may visit our website at www.keanelaw.com – we will determine the facts of the case and file a claim to hold those responsible to pay for the damages. In a child death lawsuit, we will recover for our clients.

 Please visit the pages of all three siblings in this family:

Kailee Rhianne Hundley

Death occurred in the state of Kansas

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