ST. CHARLES COUNTY (KSDK) – A former daycare operator has been charged with felony child abuse from a case dating back to 2009, according to St. Charles Prosecuting Attorny Tim Lohmar.

Lisa West, formerly of Wentzville, surrendered to authorities Monday morning.

According to Lohmar, 18-month-old Mason Beach died while in West's care at her in-home daycare in September 2009. Mason's mother dropped him off, but 20 minutes later, West called her, saying Mason was unconscious and not breathing. He died less than 24 hours later from non-accidental head trauma.

The investigation remained opened, and St. Charles County grand jury indicted her recently.

So why did it take five years for charges?

"A lot of that had to do with the complicated medical evidence involved," Lohmar said. "There were numerous medical professionals, medical experts, whose opinions were consulted. Obviously, when you're going to charge a case like this you'd better be sure that you've got the evidence to support that. And we felt like it was just until recently that we were able to do that."

West is being held in the St. Charles County Department of Corrections of $100,000 cash-only bond.

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