Day care co-owner now charged with manslaughter in baby's death

Darryl Ewing accused of leaving 4-month-old girl in hot van for nearly 5 hours

Jacksonville Sheriff's Office booking photo of Darryl Ewing

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Charges have been upgraded against the co-owner of a Westside day care center who had previously been charged with child neglect in the death of a baby.

Darryl Ewing, 56, is now facing aggravated manslaughter of a child in the May death of 4-month-old Brooklyn, who police said was left strapped in a car seat in a day care van for nearly five hours outside Ewing's Love and Hope Preschool Academy.

Records show the charge was upgraded Oct. 9.

According to the arrest report, Ewing was driving the van that picked up the baby girl, her siblings and several other children. It arrived at Ewing’s Love and Hope Preschool Academy shortly before 8:30 a.m. on May 22. 

Police said that after the infant's mother called the center that day to make arrangements to pick up Brooklyn and her two older children, the baby was found unresponsive in the van parked in front of the center on Lenox Avenue. The baby was taken to Wolfson Children's Hospital, but she could not be revived.

Ewing was arrested and 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 it was transporting children, so standards of vehicle safety and driver qualifications were never addressed.

Ewing is scheduled to be back in court on Nov. 25.