MANATEE COUNTY - A Bradenton family is still seeking justice two years after their 3-month-old daughter died at an unlicensed home day care.
The day care's owner is charged with operating an unlicensed child care facility. A pre-trial conference was held Tuesday, but the family says so many questions remain unanswered about their daughter's death.
Sunnie and Donald Beardsley remember that morning vividly. It was August 18th, 2011, around 10:30. “She was perfectly happy and healthy that morning. I got a call, and it just went downhill from there.”
It was their 3-month-old daughter Isabella's fourth day at day care. They brought her here to Steven and Loretta Carbone's home day care in Bradenton. But two hours after dropping Isabella off, a phone call came through saying Isabella had stopped breathing.
Sunnie rushed to the hospital. “I kept asking, is she breathing, is she breathing, does she have a heartbeat? Wouldn't give me any answers.”
The doctors couldn't save Isabella. “It's frustrating explaining things to our girls. Our girls had a hard time, our middle child Chloe has had a really hard time.”
Shortly after Isabella's death, the Beardsley's learned that the Carbone's day care wasn't licensed. And although they had applied for the license through the state, the license hadn't been issued yet.
From there, the Beardsley's did their own research, reviewing all of the reports. “When Isabella passed away, we don't know where she was, how long she had left her down to nap. The stories through the many reports are inconsistent, one says that she put her down for 5 minutes, one says she checked on her every 20 minutes.”
An autopsy report listed the cause of death as "undetermined".
“The Medical Examiner says that all the physical evidence shows she was on her stomach at the time of her death. Unfortunately, every time the police department asked the Carbone's, they said she was on her side.”
The Beardsley's say they hope to find answers one day. And in the meantime, they keep Isabella close to their hearts. “We don't want this to happen to anyone else. This shouldn't have happened.”
The Beardsley's want to warn parents to check their children's day care thoroughly.
Parents can check the credibility of a child care facility through the Florida Department of Children and Families.
The Carbone's trial is set for February.