Police: Nanny was drunk while caring for Salem infant

by: Kathryn Burcham Updated:

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SALEM, Mass. - A local nanny is facing criminal charges after police said she got too drunk to properly care for a 4-month old baby.

Salem Police arrested Susan Conway-Lally Wednesday after they said she was so intoxicated, she was unable to open a lock and let the child's mother into the family home.

According to a police report, the mother came home to find Conway-Lally so drunk "she couldn't work the dead bolt" on the back door.

Police said the mother could hear her baby girl crying through the door, but that Conway-Lally was nearly unresponsive, slurring her words as if she had "marbles in her mouth."

After the frantic mother called 911, fire crews and police responded to the apartment on Daniels Street, and used an ax and a pry bar to break down the door after Conway-Lally still could not operate the door lock.

Once inside, police said the infant girl was uninjured, but had a wet diaper and may have missed a feeding.

According to police records, inside Conway-Lally's purse they found "an 80 proof bottle of vodka, 90 percent empty," and when they administered a breathalyzer, police said Conway-Lally registered a 0.282, more than three times the legal limit.

"I saw the police cars over there," neighbor Stephen Grout told FOX25, after Conway-Lally was arrested on charges of reckless endangerment.

Grout said his neighbor had previously struggled with alcohol addiction years ago, but he had no idea she had relapsed.

"That's a not a good thing. I'm disappointed in hearing that, since I knew she had it way back then," Grout said.

A FOX25 crew saw a box of beer and empty bottles of alcohol piled on Conway-Lally's porch Friday evening, but no one answered the door at her address.

Police said the Salem family hired Conway-Lally through www.care.com, a website that matches caregivers with parents looking for childcare help.

Although the family received a background check on Conway-Lally through care.com, FOX25 has learned the Waltham-based web company has had legal issues with other caregivers in the past.

In 2013, Boston Police arrested Stephanie Fox after they said she stole $280,000 from the Beacon Hill family she was nannying for.

The family hired Fox through care.com, where a background check failed to disclose or uncover dozens of Fox's convictions for larceny and fraud.

In Georgia, FOX25's sister station WSB interviewed a family who used care.com to hire a woman named Gina Groves to babysit their son.

Later, that family learned Groves allegedly opened credit cards in their name and racked up thousands of dollars in charges.

Groves also had outstanding warrants for her arrest, but care.com failed to uncover those through a background check after Groves created a profile under a false name, according to WSB.

In reference to the most recent incident, a care.com spokeswoman told FOX25, "We are deeply troubled by this incident and our thoughts are with the family. We have reached out to local law enforcement to provide any assistance."

Conway-Lally appeared before a judge Thursday and was released from jail.

She will return to court on Feb. 18 and has been barred from contacting the family in Salem.