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Three childcare workers and a Department of Children and Families investigator have been charged with failure to report child abuse in connection with the 2021 death of a Florida toddler.
Childcare workers Elizabeth Fowler, 37, Jaymie Gaucher, 51, and Kristal Samuel, 40, as well as Dallas Jasper, a child protective investigator with the Florida Department of Children and Families, were recently arrested in connection with the June 11, 2021 death of Jameson Nance, 3, Florida outlet WFTV reports.
The four have since bonded out.
Just days before West Melbourne Police say the toddler was beaten so badly that he suffered a fatal heart attack, he was brought to his day care — the Health First Center for Child Development — covered in bruises.
Jameson's mother Erica Dotson, 27, allegedly told lead teacher, Fowler, that the injuries “were the result of a duck attacking him,” according to WFTV.
Police say that Fowler, Gucher, the daycare's director, and Samuel, the assistant director, should have reported the abuse, Spectrum News 13 reports. Jasper was also allegedly at the facility when the boy showed up with bruises.
All four have since lost their jobs.
“Our hearts continue to ache for Jameson’s family, and Health First has been actively cooperating with investigators on this unimaginable tragedy,” Health First said in a statement, Spectrum News reports. “We have terminated the employment of the associates involved in the Jameson Nance case. Health First will continue to work with law enforcement to get justice for Jameson.”
It's not clear if any of the four have lawyers.
The West Melbourne Police, who investigated the child's death, told Oxygen.com that the Melbourne Police filed the most recent charges. That department did not immediately returned a request for comment.
Dotson and her boyfriend, Joshua Manns, 25, were arrested last year in connection with the boy’s death and charged with first-degree murder and aggravated child abuse. Prosecutors are currently seeking the death penalty for the couple, Law&Crime reported.
Police described the slain child as a boy who “liked pizza, Paw Patrol and riding his Spider-Man bicycle.” They said he lacked “someone to fight for him” in life.
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