ROCKVILLE, Md. - A 35-year-old Rockville daycare operator has been charged with the murder of a 6-month-old baby girl.
Prosecutors said the baby was in Kia Divband’s care at his daycare center where he claimed the baby choked on milk. But an autopsy later revealed the baby suffered massive injuries, including broken ribs, broken legs and bruises on her face and head.
In court at a bond hearing on Tuesday, a visibly shaken prosecutor had to take a breath as she was listing the injuries suffered by 6-month-old Miller “Millie” Lilliston – saying they were simply too many to read.
According to court documents, the injuries suffered by the infant are consistent with "repeated instances of physical abuse."
Divband is charged with second-degree murder and child abuse and is facing 95 years in prison if convicted of these charges. The 35-year-old owns Little Dreamers Creative Learning Center out of his home in Rockville.
The victim was in Divband's care last Tuesday. Police said they were called to Shady Grove Adventist Hospital for a report of an unresponsive infant. Divband told investigators the baby choked while drinking milk, began to throw up, became unresponsive and turned blue. He then performed CPR on the girl.
The 6-month-old girl was later transferred to Children’s National Medical Center in Washington D.C. where she died two days later.
But a D.C. medical examiner report said the baby suffered repeated physical injuries that were the result of abuse. Court documents show those injuries include hemorrhages, five left rib fractures, broken legs, bruises to the girl’s forehead, neck and face. Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy said this case has been ruled a homicide and outlined other injuries the baby suffered.
"There were healed fractures in her legs, there were acute, which means fresh, fractures to her ribs – multiple. I think the total was 11 or 12 of her ribs were broken. There was head trauma. There were subdural hematomas."
Divband's attorney said in court there has been a rush to judgment in this case.
"Mr. Divband is adamant and looking forward to fully defending himself in this matter,” said defense attorney Terrance McGann. “We're still sort of in a fact-finding stage and that we are just getting a lot of information right now, but Mr. Divband looks forward to having his day in court and defending himself.”
Prosecutors said prior to baby’s death, her pediatrician had identified injuries that appeared to be older and had previously healed. Investigators said when they went to the daycare center, Divband had thrown out bloody baby wipes, removed the baby’s name from a bin with her possessions. They also said there were suitcases in the driveway.
Divband is being held on $2 million bond. A hearing on this case is scheduled in May.