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No charges to be filed in local infant death

Brooklyn Howard

MITCHELL - No charges will be filed in connection with the recent death of an infant at a rural Mitchell in-home daycare, authorities announced today.

The announcement comes exactly one month since three-month-old Brooklyn Howard died June 19.

South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley and Davison County State's Attorney Pat Smith announced this morning in a news release that "a young child in the daycare contributed to the death of the infant." No further explanation was provided.

Jackley and Smith said in the release they would like to thank the Davison County Sheriff's Office, the Mitchell Police Division and the state Division of Criminal Investigation for "this very difficult investigation."

"Jackley and Smith would further like to send condolences to the family of the deceased during this difficult time, who were cleared of any culpability at the outset and have cooperated throughout this investigation," the release said.

Authorities had previously deemed the circumstances surrounding the death to be "suspicious."

According to a search warrant return filed with the Davison County Clerk of Courts, agents with the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation executed search warrants June 19 at the Mitchell home of Howard's parents, Donald Howard and Amy Ruml, and at a residence located at 709 W. Spruce St., which is described in the search warrant as "a residence where Lacey Tebay cares for a number of children, to include Brooklyn Kennedy Howard." An autopsy of Howard also was performed.