One Florida mother is experiencing every parents’ worst nightmare: having to bury a baby. Now she is taking to social media for help after child neglect by a daycare worker led to her baby daughter’s untimely death in Jacksonville on Wednesday.
That was when Lancia Isaac left her four-month-old daughter Brooklyn and two of Brooklyn’s siblings with Darryl Ewing, the 56-year-old co-owner of the Love & Hope Preschool and Academy. He picked up several other children in a van and transported them to Love & Hope. He unloaded the children but somehow left Brooklyn inside still strapped in her car seat at 8:25 a.m.
When Isaac called to make arrangements to pick up her children, the daycare workers realized that Brooklyn had not been checked in. At shortly after 1 p.m., they discovered the baby had still been in the hot van as temperatures reached more than 90 degrees. When emergency personnel arrived, Brooklyn was still in the van and unresponsive. She was pronounced dead at a hospital shortly after.
Now, Isaac was reaching out for help with funeral expenses to bury her baby.
“The team of doctors and nurses did everything in their power to save my beautiful baby girl but she couldn’t be revived,” Isaac wrote in the family’s GoFundMe page. “The tragedy has left our city outraged and full of sorrow. My family is in shambles and with so many unanswered questions.”
Within one day, more than 900 people and counting helped raise more than double the $10,000 that the family was seeking for Brooklyn’s funeral.
Police revealed that Ewing was in charge of keeping a separate driver’s log to keep track of the children, but he failed to record that Brooklyn was in the van, despite checking in her siblings.
“Interviews of other daycare center employees indicated it is the van driver’s responsibility to check and make sure children are offloaded from the van at the daycare center,” the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office wrote in a statement. “It was determined the suspect’s actions (and lack thereof) failed to provide the victim with the necessary supervision and provide services to protect the victim’s physical health, all which was essential to the victim’s well-being and contributed to the death of the victim.”
Authorities also reported that Ewing was arrested and taken to the police station where he refused to talk to detectives. He was booked shortly after for child neglect.
Unfortunately, this was not the first time someone at that same daycare was hit with charges related to the treatment of children. One of Love & Hope’s directors, Glorylan Ewing, 51, was arrested at the daycare center in December 2017. She was charged with child abuse after a parent claimed Ewing had beaten two of her children with extension cords, leaving welts on their legs. The charges against Glorylan were later dropped after she agreed to participate in a pretrial intervention program. It was unclear how or if Glorylan was related to Darryl Ewing.
Though there is no word on the future of Love & Hope, Isaac planned a candlelight vigil for her daughter in front of the daycare on Friday evening.