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Tom Lawrence, Forum Communications Co., Published June 20 2012

Day care death investigated in South Dakota

MITCHELL, S.D. - The death of an infant who was being cared for at a rural Davison County day care facility is under investigation.

Brooklyn Kennedy Howard, the daughter of Amy Ruml and Donny Howard, died Tuesday, reportedly at Avera Queen of Peace Hospital. She was 3 months old.

Howard’s death is being looked into, according to a release from the South Dakota Attorney General’s Office.

The Bittner Funeral Chapel, of Mitchell, confirmed her death Wednesday night and submitted an obituary to The (Mitchell) Daily Republic.

Law enforcement officials from the Davison County Sheriff’s Office, the Mitchell Police Division and the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation are investigating the death, according to a release from the South Dakota Attorney General’s Office.

Mitchell Public Safety Department Chief Lyndon Overweg said Mitchell police officers were the first to respond to the day care facility, but he deferred all other questions to the sheriff’s office or the attorney general, who were not available Wednesday night. The name of the day care has not been disclosed.

Davison County Chief Deputy Steve Brink said the investigation continues.

“It’s an open case right now,” Brink said. “I’ll have more for you (today).”

He declined to answer when asked if anyone was in custody.

Amy Ruml’s family members pleaded for privacy. They said the family was struggling with the child’s loss and was making funeral arrangements.