TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- Funeral services were held today for five-month-old Caleb Stewart. Mourners gathered as the state confirmed it is investigating the daycare home where Stewart died last week.
The mood was somber as people came together to remember how Stewart touched them throughout his short life. Family and friends say it is a testament to how much Stewart was loved.
“He was a happy baby who won the hearts of us all,” said family friend Michele Herren.
Last Wednesday, deputies from the Shawnee County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call of an unresponsive infant at what the state confirms was a non-licensed daycare in South Topeka's Montara neighborhood. Stewart was taken to Stormont-Vail Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
“I don't understand why this happened,” said Herren. “But he will always be our little porkchop and we will spend the rest of our lives missing everything about him.”
Officials at the Department of Health and Environment say the daycare’s license expired in early February, when the facility moved to 7032 SW Wheatfield Lane. They say the owner never submitted a renewal application. There have been three unsubstantiated complaints of lack of supervision since December 2011. Now, they say new allegations related to illegal care and infant death are pending.
Deputies are working with the DA’s office and the Shawnee County Licensing Surveyor in the ongoing investigation.
“As for my family, only God can ease our pain as we try to understand come to terms with what happened,” said Herren.
Stewart was laid to rest at the Burlingame City Cemetery. Donations to a memorial fund can be made at the Kansas State Bank in Scranton.
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