Two Sussex women arrested in connection with deaths of children

SUSSEX COUNTY – Delaware State Police report two women were arrested this week in connection with the deaths of two children earlier this year.

Valorie Handy, 51, of Millsboro; and Detoshia Spence, 23, of Laurel are believed to be responsible for the deaths of children in two separate cases, according to state police spokesman Sgt. Richard Bratz.

Both women were indicted by a grand jury Monday, July 27 and were arrested.

valorie handy

Valorie Handy

Ms. Handy was indicted on one charge of murder by abuse or neglect first degree in the death of a 10-month old victim in her daycare in January 2015. The case has been ruled a homicide, Sgt. Bratz said.

On Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015 around 2:15 p.m., troopers were dispatched to Handy’s Little Disciples daycare located at 28194 Layton-Davis Road after a 9-1-1 call was received from the home stating a 10-month-old child was unresponsive.

Preliminary investigation suggests a daycare worker attempted to wake the 10 month old male from a nap, and upon doing so, observed the infant unresponsive.  The young child was transported by EMS to Beebe Healthcare in Lewes where he was eventually pronounced dead, Sgt. Bratz said.

Ms. Handy was taken into custody Wednesday, July 29 near her residence and presented before the Sussex County Superior Court. She was committed to Delores J. Baylor Women’s Correctional Institution in default of $100,000 cash bond.

Ms. Spence was indicted on charges of murder by abuse or neglect first degree, two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, two counts of child abuse second degree and offensive touching in the death of her 3-year old daughter in April, Sgt. Bratz said.

Detoshia Spence

Detoshia Spence

The preliminary investigation began Friday, April 17, 2015, at approximately 7:17 p.m., after a call was received by the Sussex County Emergency Operations Center reporting CPR in progress. The Laurel Police Department, Laurel Fire Department, and Sussex County Paramedics were dispatched to the 900 block of Daniel Street, Carvel Gardens in Laurel.

The victim was turned over to the Division of Forensic Sciences where an autopsy was performed. The manner of death was ruled a homicide, Sgt. Bratz said.

On Wednesday, July 29, 2015, Ms. Spence turned herself in at Troop 4 and then presented before Sussex County Superior Court.  She was committed to Delores J. Baylor Women’s Correctional Institution in default of $111,100.00 cash bond.

“The deaths of children at the hands of those who are supposed to be caring for them are tragic and heartbreaking cases,” Attorney General Matt Denn said. “The police and prosecutors in these two cases spent months investigating the cases and reviewing evidence, including complex medical evidence about how each of these children died. I am proud of how DOJ’s criminal prosecutors and DSP troopers in Sussex worked through these tough cases to get to these indictments.”

The Sussex County Post delivers news from Georgetown and southern Delaware. Follow @SussexPost on Twitter.

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