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Baby who died in day care van honored at vigil

Baby died after police say she was left in hot van for 4½ hours

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Two days after 4-month-old Brooklyn died when she was left strapped in a car safety seat inside a van parked in the sun for 4½ hours, the baby's mother and others gathered at the Westside day care center where it happened.

There was a somber tone early Friday evening as family and friends arrived about 6 p.m. Friday for a candlelight vigil to honor Brooklyn.

A family friend at Friday's vigil told News4Jax that she is amazed to see the community's outpouring of support.

"This is a tragic moment, so for everyone in the community to come out and show Lancia support and love and that you care for her daughter, it really means a lot to her," she said.

Brooklyn's mother placed a picture of her daughter on the hood of the daycare van where the 4-month-old died. She was surrounded by friends and family, who were still coming to grips with the tragedy.

Pastor Kadeen Borden helped facilitate the vigil, where mourners lit candles. They had tee shirts printed out in the baby's honor, and released balloons into the sky.

"No parent ever knows when their time is going to come and wake up thinking this is the last time seeing (their) baby," Borden said. "It's a very, very touchy subject to see what the mom is going through right now."

Police said when Isaac called the center Wednesday to make arrangements to pick up Brooklyn and her two older children, that's when they went looking for the baby and found her unresponsive in the van parked in front of the center on Lenox Avenue

Hours after the infant was found in the van, police arrested 56-year-old Darryl Allyn Ewing, the co-director of Ewing's Love and Hope Preschool and Academy and driver of the van.

Sheriff's officials said Ewing refused to talk to detectives. He appeared before a judge Thursday morning, where he was ordered held on $75,000 bond. If Ewing is released, he is ordered to have no contact with any children.

The Florida Department of Children and Families ordered an immediate suspension of the day care center's license since the business never told state inspectors they were transporting children, so standards of vehicle safety and driver qualifications were never addressed.

Isaac set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for the cost of Brooklyn's funeral. Within 24 hours, donors had more than doubled her goal of $10,000.


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