Mother of infant who died in day care van asks for community's help

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

By Brittany Muller - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The mother of 4-month-old Brooklyn, who died when police say she was left in a car safety seat inside a Westside day care center van parked in the sun for 4½ hours Wednesday, is asking for the community's help "laying my baby girl to rest."

"The team of doctors and nurses did everything in their power to save my beautiful baby girl but she couldn't be revived," Lancia Isaac wrote on her Facebook page. "The tragedy has left our city outraged and full of sorrow. My family is in shambles and with so many unanswered questions."

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 hot van.

She set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for the cost of Brooklyn's funeral.

"I come to you all today as humble and as most importantly a grieving mother and ask for your help in helping laying my baby girl to rest," she wrote.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said the baby's mother had called the center around 1 p.m. and an employee said she didn't know the child was there. Officials say employees then found the baby 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 Daycare Center 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.

Temperatures were in the upper 80s to low 90s in Jacksonville midday Wednesday. News4Jax meteorologists estimated the temperature inside an enclosed vehicle parked in the sun midday Wednesday could have reached 123 degrees.

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.

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