The owner of a daycare center has been charged with the second-degree murder of a 6-month-old baby girl who was in his care. Cops in Montgomery County, Maryland, said in a press release that Kia Divband, 35, of the town of Rockville had been arrested as part of the investigation into the death of Miller “Millie” Lilliston. Divband is also facing two charges of child abuse. He’s the owner and operator of Little Dreamers Creative Learning Center in Rockville, Maryland. The licensed daycare is run out of Divband’s basement.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Cops Say That Divband Claimed Millie Had Choked on Breast Milk; Her Cause of Death Was Ruled as Blunt Force Trauma
Police in Montgomery County said that detectives were first called to Shady Grove Adventist Hospital on April 19 after receiving a report about an unresponsive child. Those detectives quickly ascertained that Millie Lilliston had been in the care of Kia Divband at his licensed daycare, Little Dreamers, in Rockville, Maryland.
He told investigators that he was feeding Millie breast milk from a bottle when she began to choke and vomit. Divband then said when he went to wash the vomit from her face she became unresponsive with her lips turning blue. He tried CPR and got his wife to call 911, according to a police statement.
After being treated at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital, Millie was flown to the Children’s National Medical Center where she succumbed to her injuries on April 22. Doctors at Shady Grove had noticed, “subdural hematomas in her head, rib fractures, and multiple bruises on her face and body.” When she was transferred to the CNMC, doctors discovered, “additional injuries to include retinal hemorrhages, a fractured femur, and a fractured humerus. All of the injuries were in various stages of healing and were classified as non-accidental, inflicted trauma.”
Millie’s parents told detectives that their daughter had not been sick while Divband said Millie had been sick for two weeks leading up to her death. They were able to show the investigators pictures of their daughter on April 18 without any bruising.
A search warrant was served at Divband’s home and business on April 21. According to the police:
Blood evidence was recovered in multiple locations in the daycare facility, including the stroller that Millie was seated in on April 19. A trash can with bloodied baby wipes was located outside with the trash bins. Investigators also noticed that Divband had removed Millie’s name label from her belongings bin.
On April 24, Millie’s autopsy gave her cause of death as “blunt force trauma.” Divband has been charged with second-degree murder and two counts of child abuse. He’s being held on a bond of $2 million.
2. Divband Runs Little Dreamers With His Wife Sadia Hameed
According to the website for the Little Dreamers Creative Learning Center, Divband runs the licensed daycare with his wife Sadia Hameed from the basement of their home on Garndin Avenue in Rockville’s Twinbrook neighborhood.
The website also describes the daycare’s policy regarding punishment:
We strive to provide a safe and fun learning environment for all the children in our care. Punishment that is humiliating or frightening to a child, such as hitting, spanking, shaking . . . and other forms of physical punishment are PROHIBITED.
Divband and his wife had a registry at The Bump, a baby gift registering website, it says that they had a baby who was born in May 2015.
3. Divband Says on His Resume That He Will ‘Ensure the Safety & Well-Being Children at All Times’
In his online resume, Divband notes that he’s fluent in Farsi. On the Little Dreamers’ website, Divband wrote that his career was “Not a stereotypical vocation for a middle-eastern guy but one where I have truly grown and learned about my talents.”
Divband’s resume adds that he’s a graduate of the University of Maryland where he got a degree in Computer Science. In 2009, he graduated from Montgomery College with a qualification in Early Childhood Education.
A woman who was visiting friends in Divband’s neighborhood, described meeting the suspect to the Washington Post saying, “He just seemed like a dad who wanted to stay home with his kids. Your everyday soccer dad, friendly, normal. He had a smile in his face.”
4. His Wife Was a Human Rights Advocate in DC, Working for Oxfam & Amnesty International
Divband’s wife, Sadia Hameed, is a former human rights advocate in D.C. where she worked for Amnesty International and Oxfam, according to her LinkedIn page. She was also a campaign manager at the Enough Project, where she specialized in the affairs of the Congo.
Hameed was also a frequent blogger on the Enough website, her last post was in March 2011.
She says on her LinkedIn page that she left her job as the Director of Crimes Against Humanity Programs at Human Rights First in August 2013.