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Waukesha daycare worker accused of abuse appears in court

Heather Miller is accused of physically abusing children at The Lawrence School daycare.
Heather M. Miller
Posted at 6:18 AM, Sep 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-19 07:18:03-04

WAUKESHA, Wis. — Authorities found an unlocked, loaded inside the Waukesha daycare shut down over child abuse allegations.

Investigators say they also found a bottle of prescription drugs out in the open, when they searched the daycare on September 14th.

All this, as Heather Miller, the worker charged with felony child abuse, was in court again Monday.

WATCH: Neither Miller, nor her mother, answered questions after the court appearance. Her mother only said, “innocent until proven guilty” as she walked out of the courtroom.

Heather Miller leaves courtroom with no comment

The discussion in court centered around whether Miller qualifies for legal representation by a public defender. Miller says she has no money to pay for an attorney.

Miller is not in jail, because she posted her $6,000 bail. She revealed her mother paid for that.

According to a criminal complaint, Miller held a baby face-down in a crib until he appeared to struggle to breathe.

A coworker reported it to the leaders of The Lawrence School, who have not returned our calls for comment.

The state website that shares daycare violations and ratings per the Wisconsin Department of Child and Family Services, has posted dozens of new violations reported from when investigators checked The Lawrence School on September 2 & 14. Waukesha Police helped shut the facility down on September 14th.

One of the most shocking violations reveals an unlocked, loaded gun was found in an office that was not locked. A bottle of prescription medication was also found in the open.

Inspectors found that leaders at The Lawrence School did not investigate the abuse or notify authorities and kept Miller in her role working with babies. It’s unclear whether any of them could still face charges.

There are also violations referencing Miller forcing infants and toddlers to sleep and eat at the same time, sometimes physically restraining them.

During an inspection in April, inspectors also couldn’t find Miller’s daycare worker certification or educational qualifications on record. Her bio on The Lawrence School’s website says she is a mother of two, who studied Childhood and Elementary Education at UW Lacrosse, and has more than 25 years of experience in childcare.

Miller’s next court appearance is on Thursday September 27th at 1 p.m.
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The Waukesha daycare worker charged with felony abuse will be in court Monday. Heather Miller is expected to be in front of a judge at 1 o'clock.

Miller is accused of physically abusing children at The Lawrence School daycare. According to the criminal complaint, Miller held a baby down in a crib until he appeared to struggle to breathe. The Lawrence School has now been closed indefinitely. And the abuse allegations are not the only red flag. Records released over the weekend show that investigators also discovered a bottle of prescription drugs and a loaded gun inside an unlocked office.

Parents have contacted TMJ4 News saying they recognized problems with Miller's care at other facilities she's worked at in Waukesha and Oconomowoc. The TMJ4 News team stopped at Miller's home, but she refused to speak with us.

As for the directors of the center, they have denied knowing about any abuse.

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