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AG: Mitchell Day Care Death 'Suspicious'

June 22, 2012, 5:55 PM by Perry Groten

AG: Mitchell Day Care Death 'Suspicious'

South Dakota law enforcement is calling the death of a three-month old girl at a Mitchell day care "suspicious."  That's according to Attorney General Marty Jackley, who says state investigators along with Mitchell authorities are working the case, hoping to bring closure to the family and the community.

Brooklyn Howard died Tuesday after Mitchell police and paramedics responded to a call that afternoon at a day care located on West Spruce Street.  So far, prosecutors haven't filed any charges, and no one's been arrested.  But for the first time, investigators are talking publicly about the case.

The medical examination into the death of three-month old Howard at a Mitchell day care has investigators labeling the case as suspicious.

"Certainly, some of the preliminary information we've received from the autopsy would indicate that there is some suspicion there and when there is that type of suspicion, law enforcement does what we do.  We look into things," Jackley said.

Jackley oversees the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation, the lead agency looking into Howard's death.   He won't release any other details about what happened at this Mitchell home day care that may have led to her death.  But as the investigation unfolds, the heart-wrenching nature of the case takes a far-reaching emotional toll.
"The investigation can be more challenging certainly, not only the impact it can be on the victim's family, but the difficulty it may give rise to with respect to some of the witnesses that may be involved," Jackley said.

Jackley says DCI agents are making a thorough investigation into the death of a little girl that's shocked a community.

"Certainly, it's an unfortunate circumstance.  I've had emails even into late last night regarding the case and so we will continue to work the case with local law enforcement and bring some closure for the victim's family and give some more information for the public here in the near future," Jackley said.

Visitation for Howard will be held Friday night in Mitchell.  Her funeral will be Saturday morning.

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