Exclusive: Hampton nanny charged with child neglect, after baby’s lungs fill with water

Posted at 3:20 PM, Jun 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-29 17:42:26-04

HAMPTON, Va. - A Hampton nanny says she knows it was wrong but that didn’t stop 28-year-old Katelyn Upton from allegedly leaving a baby unsupervised in a bathtub. According to police, Upton's actions nearly killed the baby.

Upton, Katelyn Britney

28-year-old Katelyn Upton was charged with felony child neglect after police say she left a 10-month-old baby in a bathtub unsupervised.

“I never should have turned my back. It was my fault,” Upton told News 3 in an exclusive interview. “I turned around to get a diaper. He was in the tub. I went to the other room. I came back and he was blue, or his lips had started to turn blue.”

In an exclusive interview with News 3, Upton claims she left the baby alone for no more than a minute.  But a friend of the baby’s parents, Taylor McIntosh, says Upton isn't telling the truth.

According to McIntosh, this was no accident.

“When we were at the ER down here at [Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters], they were telling us that the amount of water that he had in his lungs and his stomach, that he was in [the bathtub for a] prolonged period of time,” McIntosh told News 3, in an exclusive interview. “What that exact amount of time was, of course, doctors don’t know. But the doctor insinuated that it was 10 to 15 minutes that he was actually under water.”

McIntosh is also a part-time nanny.

“I’m not saying that [Upton] did this on purpose, or that she held him under the water, or anything like that,” McIntosh said. “I’m saying that she neglected him. She left him alone when she shouldn’t have.”

Upton disagrees. She says this could have happen to anyone. “100 percent, I never thought this would happen to me,” Upton told News 3. “I’ve worked with special needs kids all my life. I just went to the other room to grab a diaper.”

According to court records, police say Upton was ‘out of it’ after the incident, and that medical staff saw her ‘take a pill’.

Upton baby 6

The 10-month-old baby Upton allegedly left in the bathtub unattended. Picture taken shortly after he returned from the hospital.

In court records, police reference finding Tylenol PM in Upton’s bag, but when she spoke to News 3, she said there was another medication detectives were also looking into.

“They found other prescription medication I had a prescription for, and they assumed that I was on it at the time, but I wasn't,” said Upton.

According to Upton, both her prescription bottle and Tylenol PM bottle were empty when police discovered them.

“You can’t exactly prove it,” Upton told News 3. “It was in my system, because I have a script.” Upton wouldn’t disclose what the name of the prescription medication she had on her at the time of the incident.

We checked and Upton has a criminal history including shoplifting and lying to law enforcement. Even though she's been working as a nanny for years and had references, it's something McIntosh says the baby's parents never knew.

“I’m sorry. I wish this never would have happened,” Upton told News 3, when asked what message she had for the baby’s family. I’m glad he’s ok.”

According to Upton, she had been a nanny for the baby full time for several months prior to the incident.

Hampton Police say Upton is still under investigation.