Jackson Township mother charged in death of 3-year-old daughter

Christopher Dornblaser
  • Police found 3-year-old girl unconscious in Jackson Township home; later pronounced dead.
  • Regina Lester, 30, has been charged with criminal homicide, child endangerment and terroristic threats.

Homicide charges have been filed against a 30-year-old Jackson Township woman after her 3-year-old daughter was found dead in their home Wednesday night, according to Northern York County Regional Police.

Regina Lester, who also was charged with endangering the welfare of children and making terroristic threats, was taken into custody at the scene.

A 3-year-old girl is dead and her mother remains in custody after she allegedly killed hr child inside their Chesapeake Estates home in Jackson Twp. on Wednesday, June 8, 2016, police said.
(Christopher Dornblaser photo)

The incident occurred around 6 p.m. in the 200 block of Chesapeake Estates.

"Responding officers found a 3-year-old female unconscious and lifeless in the kitchen of the home," Northern York County Regional Police Chief Mark Bentzel said.

Lester and her daughter were transported to York Hospital. Another child in the home at the time of the alleged incident was unharmed and in the care of family members.

Police: Mom who killed daughter said she had to get 'darkness' out

The York County coroner was sent to the hospital, Bentzel said. The cause and manner of death was not released Wednesday night.

The coroner tweeted Thursday morning that an autopsy has been scheduled for 8 a.m. Friday at Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown.

Charges: Bentzel said that when officers arrived at the scene, Lester was naked and on the ground outside the home.

"They did have to physically detain her," he said.

Bentzel said Lester would be taken from York Hospital to central booking for arraignment.

A search warrant was executed on Lester's home about 8:30 p.m., he said.

Cases such as this are unusual and tough, the chief said.

"The fact that the mother appears to be responsible is sickening," he said.

NYCRPD (@NYCRPD) | Twitter

Neighbors: Police had blocked off a section of the neighborhood during the investigation, and fire police were on scene directing traffic away.

Alexis Klein, who lives down the street from Lester, said neighbors heard screaming and went to where the woman was outside. She said the neighborhood is relatively close, and word traveled fast.

Autumn Denner, who said she used to babysit the girl, also lives down the street. She said one neighbor heard screaming, then called police and waited at the home until officers arrived.

Klein said she saw the woman, naked, taken away from the scene by an ambulance.

"It's just unbelievable," she said.

Klein said she has lived in the neighborhood off and on for many years and never experienced anything like this.

"Not here, a small town like this," she said.

Klein said she didn't know Lester very well.

"She wasn't a bad person," she said.

— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.