The case of the death of a 7-month-old baby girl in a reportedly unlicensed daycare home on Aliamanu Military Reservation in Hawaii has been “reclassified to manslaughter,” according to a spokeswoman with the Honolulu Police Department.
It was previously classified as an unattended death.
No charges have been filed, nor have any arrests been made at this time, said the spokeswoman, Sarah Yoro. Police have not yet conferred with the Honolulu prosecuting attorney’s office, said Brooks Baehr, a spokesman for that office.
“When they do, our office will review the evidence and we’ll decide what charges, if any, should be filed,” he said.
Today, July 16, would have been Abigail Lobisch’s first birthday. The baby’s father is a member of the Army National Guard.
She was found dead on Feb. 24 in the home of a Navy wife on Aliamanu Military Reservation. An official with the Hawaii medical examiner’s office told Military Times the information can’t be released at this time.
The daycare was in privatized housing at Aliamanu Military Reservation, part of U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii. A neighbor, an Air Force wife who lived near the home where the child died, said she had filed a complaint four days before the death alleging the daycare provider was operating an unlicensed daycare after being shut down by base officials. The neighbor also told Military Times that she had reported her concerns for more than a year about numerous young children crying and left unattended outside the home, citing various incidents such as the children playing with a lighter, and one child’s head being stuck in playground equipment.
Those who provide family child care on military installations must meet strict standards, undergoing stringent reviews and training before certified and allowed to operate the business. They must undergo fire and safety inspections, and provide a learning curriculum tailored for the child’s age. There are also limitations on the number of children that are allowed at any given time in the provider’s home.
Karen has covered military families, quality of life and consumer issues for Military Times for more than 30 years, and is co-author of a chapter on media coverage of military families in the book "A Battle Plan for Supporting Military Families." She previously worked for newspapers in Guam, Norfolk, Jacksonville, Fla., and Athens, Ga.