DEADLY DAY CARES: Vignettes of families
Date: 10/7/2011 Album ID: 1337883
Since 2007, at least 45 kids, mostly infants, have died in child care in Missouri. No cause of death is more common than sleep related deaths and suffocation in unlicensed care. And many are dying in facilities that are illegal. In the Post-Dispatch's three day series on this issue, we have talked with families dealing with the death of a child at unlicensed day cares. Their photos are included with the their permission.
Nathan Blecha lays on his older brother Clayton Blecha. 5. Nathan Blecha died June 26, 2007, at 3 months of accidental suffocation in a home day care near Arnold after being placed facedown near a gap between the mattress pad and the side of a portable crib. The day care had more children than allowed without a license.  Photo courtesy of the Blecha family
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September 26,  2011---
Clayton Blecha, 8, has a collage of his family on his bedroom door. The pictures include himself, his mom Shelley, dad Steve, sister Riley, and brother Nathan who died at three-months-old in 2007 in a day care. 
Emily Rasinski  erasinski@post-dispatch.com
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September 26,  2011---
Steve and Shelley Blecha sit with their kids Clayton, 8, and Riley, 3, at their home in Imperial. Their middle son Nathan died in 2007 when he was three-months-old at a day care in Jefferson county. The Blechas have been fighting to get legislation in Missouri that would strengthen the regulations on day cares. 
Emily Rasinski  erasinski@post-dispatch.com
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Ethan Strand-Fox sits with his brothers, Tyler and Aiden. Ethan Strand-Fox died Jan. 30, 2007, at 2 months of probable suffocation in a St. Louis home day care after being propped on his side for a nap. He was found facedown. Photo courtesy of the Strand-Fox family
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Julie Clifton, left, and husband Craig Clifton pose for a portrait with their son Nathaniel Clifton.

Handout Photo
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Sam Pratt, left, photographed with his father Billy Pratt. Sam Pratt died Feb. 2, 2009, at 2 months of alleged child abuse in an home day care in Pilot Knob, Mo. Caregiver was charged with involuntary manslaughter and child abuse resulting in death. Photo courtesy of the Pratt family
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July 26, 2011 - Stacey Brody made a small blanket from Tyler's onesies.  It sits draped on the railing of his bed in his room, still intact a year after his death.  I still want to come here and remember, said Brody, joined by her daughter Natalie, 3.  Tyler died July 1, 2010 while in the care of an unlicensed child care provider.
Robert Cohen rcohen@post-dispatch.com
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July 26, 2011 - Two-month-old Tyler Brody died July 1, 2010 while in the care of an unlicensed child care provider.
Robert Cohen rcohen@post-dispatch.com
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June 28, 2011- Stacey Brody wipes dirt from the headstone of her infant son Tyler Brody at the cemetery in Manchester, MO.

Stephanie S. Cordle  scordle@post-dispatch.com
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Kaden Danuser sits with his older brother Landen Danuser. Kaden died of positional asphyxiation while napping in a car seat at his Lee's Summit day care.
Photo courtesy of the Danuser family
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Melissa McConnell holds her daughter Autumn up for a picture in October 2010. Autumn died while in a car seat while at her day care Nov. 18, 2010. The McConnells had used the car seat for naps at home and believes Autumn never fully recovered from fever and flu-like symptoms.    Photo courtesy of the McConnell family
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