Caregiver Charged In The Death Of A Lancaster 3-Year-Old

LANCASTER, SC — The caregiver of 3-year-old Lillian Schroeder has been charged in connection to the toddler’s December death.

Kayla Cook, 25, has been charged with Murder/Homicide by Child Abuse.

Around 12:04pm on December 18th, officers were called to a home on Heath Circle in reference to an unconscious 3-year-old who wasn’t breathing. Officials say they found Lillian lying on her back in the living room when they arrived, and rushed her to Springs Memorial Hospital where she was later pronounced dead.

An autopsy by the Lancaster County Coroner showed Lillian died of Cerebral Edema within minutes of a blunt force injury to her head. Officials say multiple bruises where also found on various parts of her body.

Cook told investigators that she had been caring for Lillian since 7am that day while the toddler’s dad was at work. According to her arrest warrant, Cook said she put Lillian in a bath and later found her face up, unresponsive, but looking around and breathing when she came back to check on her.

Officials ruled Lillian’s death a homicide following the autopsy results. Investigators say her death was the result of child abuse or neglect on the part of Cook.

Cook is being held at the Lancaster County Detention Center and has been denied bond.