Day Care Owner Arrested in Infant’s Death

A home day care owner has been arrested in the mysterious 2012 death of an infant who died in his care.

According to San Diego Police, James Patrick Nemeth, 38, was arrested on a residential street in Clairemont, just a mile away from where 11-month-old Lou Oliver died. He was then booked into County Jail and charged with first degree murder.

Lou was alert and healthy when he was dropped him off at the San Diego Daycare, also known as the James Nemeth Family Childcare, on May 23, 2012, according to this mother.

Just a few hours later, Lou’s mother, Cristina Oliver, got an alarming text message from Nemeth telling her to "come quickly, Lou did not wake up from his afternoon nap," Oliver told NBC 7 in February.

Lou was rushed to Rady Children's Hospital by ambulance, but at 1:30 a.m. the next morning, he was declared dead.

Three months later, after an autopsy had been performed and analyzed, the San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office ruled Lou's death a homicide, stating he suffered head and spine trauma.

The report states injuries were consistent with "shaken baby syndrome."

In a statement Friday, Lou’s father, Michael Oliver said, “I am so happy and relieved that progress has finally been made on the case. We are grateful that the police and district attorney's office continue to pursue justice for our son, Louis.”

Nemeth moved from his Clairemont home and day care shortly after the death. The state of California later decided to shut down his San Diego Daycare facility, a move Nemeth appealed.

The suspect was arrested on Thursday, Oct. 30 at about 3:30 p.m.

NBC 7 Investigates reported that before Lou's death, Nemeth had a lengthy history of serious violations, including allegations that he was physically rough with his own child.

Last November, Nemeth emailed a statement to NBC 7, saying in part: "I cared for Louis, he was an amazing child. I tried everything I could to save him and the fact I failed is something that will be with me forever."

James Nemeth will make his first court appearance Monday. Lou's parents plan on being there. It's unclear if the suspect has obtained an attorney.

Contact Us