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Baby Dies at Illegal Day Care

The operators of an illegal day care in Valdosta are behind bars after the death of an infant child. One of the suspects faces manslaughter along with several other charges.

Valdosta police say Consaundra Ward and her husband were running the illegal day care out of their home. The combination of too many kids and not enough adults turned out to be deadly.

Rescue workers were called to the Valdosta home on Monday, where a six-month-old baby girl was not breathing, then died a short time later, and now the operator of the day care, Consaundra Ward, faces felony manslaughter charges.

"She was violating the day care law. Okay? She wasn't even licensed and she had at least 16 kids in the house, and because of that, we feel like if she'd complied with the law, should would have been able to give the baby more attention, and the baby wouldn't have died," says Lt. Brian Childress, Valdosta Police spokesman.

Police also found eight other children crammed inside a closet. She's also charged with eight counts of reckless conduct, and of course, she's charged with operating a day care without a license.

Consaundra's husband, James Ward, has also been charged with operating the illegal day care. Investigators suspect he removed some children from the home before authorities arrived.

This deadly incident has many neighbors left with questions.

"I was shocked. I'd advise everyone to make sure their day care is licensed and see how many children are in the home before you take yours down there. Its very important, because a child can move at the twinkle of an eye," says Bertha Moody, who lives near the illegal day care.

The cause of the child's death is still under investigation. Right now the Ward’s are the only ones being charged, but the parents who took their children to the unlicensed day care could also face charges for endangering their children. The decision on those charges will be up to the district attorney.


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