Parents sue Lansing home daycare over death of their baby son

Sarah Schulte Image
Tuesday, May 28, 2019
Parents sue suburban home daycare over the death of their son
Parents, devastated by the death of their son, are suing a suburban home day care center.

LANSING, Ill. (WLS) -- Parents, devastated by the death of their son, are suing a Lansing home day care center after their 10-month-old died after being found unresponsive at the home.

Learn-N-Play All Day Home Childcare has been shut down while Lansing Police and the Department of Children and Family Services investigate allegations of neglect.

Vince and Ebony Clark's only child, previously happy and healthy, was found not breathing after he was allegedly left alone for about two hours on April 9. He later died.

Just a day before his death, Vincent Clark III, nicknamed "Tre," was captured on camera with a big smile while on a swing at a park.

"This is pretty much what he looked like, always brought joy to other people", said Vince Clark, father.

The Clarks filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the home daycare, its owner and her son, who worked as a staff member.

"We believe this was a completely and senseless tragedy and nobody wants to see this happen to another child again," said Heidi Wickstrom, parents' attorney.

Wickstrom said on the morning of April 9, Tre was put down for a nap in a play pen. According to the lawsuit, the baby was left alone in the home day care basement unattended for about two hours while the owner and her son took several other kids outside.

"There was no audio monitoring, no visual monitoring, it's believed nobody went on to check on him from 10:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.," said Wickstrom.

According to the lawsuit, when the daycare owner checked on him, Tre was unresponsive. There were no attempts by the owner or her son to attempt first aid, the lawsuit says.

Tre's parents said doctors told them their son had suffocated and was without oxygen for at least 20 minutes.

May 30 would have been Tre Clark's first birthday.

"We, of course continue to keep him in our hearts and continue to pray for our strength in dealing with what has happened," said Ebony Clark, mother.

In memory of their son's first birthday, the Clarks plan to release balloons on Thursday.

The parents learned about Learn-N-Play All day Care through a Facebook group. After interviewing the owner, they thought it was a safe place to leave their son. Tre had been going there three days a week since January.