Months after their two-month-old infant was left unattended and died while in the custody of a state-licensed daycare, a Florida family has been dealt a terrible legal blow. Despite the fact that the local police department is still investigating the matter, a grand jury decided not to indict the establishment that was caring for the child.
Mar’Tasha Robinson enrolled her newborn in Hugger Family Daycare in Perry, Florida, based on the recommendations of friends, according to an exclusive interview with WCTV. On Aug. 9 at 8 a.m., she dropped her daughter, Jersi Dior McKnight, off at the in-home daycare, never to see her again.
Robinson’s daughter “was pronounced dead after she was found unresponsive in a mop bucket when she purportedly rolled off of a changing table while at a daycare,” according to the Florida Department of Children and Families, while under the care of the family-run business.
Someone at the daycare notified Perry Police Chief Jamie Cruse about a youngster in distress around 3:30 p.m., according to Cruse. Robinson, on the other hand, allegedly learned of an event involving one of the children from another parent.
“My heart stopped,” Robinson recalled after receiving the panicked phone. Despite seeing an “ambulance… investigators and police lights” when she arrived at the home business, she didn’t comprehend the gravity of the situation. She had no idea it was her child.
However, as soon as she walked through the door, an officer informed her that her young daughter had been in an accident because she had been left alone. Jersi Dior, who was taken to the hospital by the authorities, was later pronounced dead.
Robinson remarked, “Leaving her alone is just neglect.”
Robinson and Jonathan McKnight, the child’s parents, held a graveside service for their princess on Saturday, Aug. 14, at 11 a.m. at Springhill Cemetery, asking for justice. However, a grand jury voted 10 to 8 not to charge the daycare owner with criminal charges, much to their dismay.
Family members have expressed their dissatisfaction with the grand jury’s decision.
Katrina Cook, Jersi Dior’s aunt, said she is still in disbelief and had hoped she misheard the verdict. Walter Bishop, the child’s great-grandfather, voiced his disdain for Jersi’s humanity in a colorful manner.
“It’s like taking a pail of water and dumping it out in the yard; once it’s dried up, it’s done,” he explained. “My grandbaby was way more than a bucket of water.”
The Hugger Family Daycare may or may not still be open. The business’s phone line was terminated when Atlanta Black Star attempted to reach it.
Since the event, the family has learned that the daycare has been cited twice by the state as “non-compliant,” with offenses involving seven children under the age of three. According to the establishment’s operating license, it could only care for ten children.
The Perry Police Department has kept the case open and is still looking into what happened to Jersi Dior on her final day. The police aren’t the only ones who want to know what happened. Both of her parents also want to know how it all happened.
“I’m looking for some answers. “I’m looking for some answers,” Robinson explained. “She won’t be forgotten,” McKnight said, echoing his child’s mother’s attitude. “Justice shall be done.”
The family has engaged a lawyer and is preparing to file a civil lawsuit.