A 49-year-old woman has been charged with child neglect, violation of child day care licensing, and obstructing justice after 23 children were discovered in her care on February 21.
Deputies responding to an unresponsive infant at a South Carolina day care facility say they found 14 children hiding in the basement of 49-year-old Pamela Clark Wood's home, a toddler alone in the yard and a loaded gun and alcohol within children's reach, New York Daily News reported.
Ms Wood was licenced to keep six children in her Greenville County home but was instead found harbouring 23 children in all, deputies reported.
As emergency medical services responded to the unresponsive three-month-old, who later died, deputies on February 21 reported finding 20 children hiding in a basement bedroom with Wood's 16-year-old daughter. A toddler was further found unsupervised in the backyard.
A more extensive search of Wood's home reportedly discovered a loaded firearm on a bookshelf, accessible to the children and alcoholic beverages under the kitchen sink with no lock.
Ms Wood was described as uncooperative with investigators and providing false information on several occasions through their investigation.
She was arrested Thursday and charged with child neglect, violation of child daycare licensing, and obstructing justice before released on $11,000 bond.
Greenville Coroner Park Evans told WYFF4 that they are investigating whether unsafe sleeping conditions caused the infant's death.
A message left at Wood's home for comment was not immediately returned.