'No one's fighting for her': Daycare operator acquitted of charge in toddler's death

·1 min read
Zoey Hancock was three years old when she died at her daycare in Regina in March of 2018. (Submitted by Debbie Hancock - image credit)
Zoey Hancock was three years old when she died at her daycare in Regina in March of 2018. (Submitted by Debbie Hancock - image credit)

A Regina woman charged in the death of a three-year-old girl has been acquitted.

Ashley Dawn Longworth was charged with manslaughter after Zoey Hancock died at Longworth's home daycare in 2018.

On Monday, Crown prosecutor Chris White informed Justice Timothy Keene that, due to a lack of evidence, he should dismiss the charge against Longworth.

Longworth stood silently as Keene told her she was free to go.

Debbie Hancock, Zoey's mother, told CBC she received an email from White last week informing her that he intended to recommend the charge be dismissed.

"It was like my daughter's life is worth nothing anymore," said Hancock. "No one's fighting for her, no one's being held accountable.

"There's no words to describe what it's like getting up every morning without Zoey."

Submitted by Debbie Hancock
Submitted by Debbie Hancock

Hancock still vividly remembers the last time she saw her daughter.

A couple of hours after dropping Zoey off at the daycare, she received a call from Longworth, who told her that Zoey was unconscious.

"I showed up and called 911 and ... performed CPR," said Hancock. "I was just in shock and screaming out for my daughter."

At the hospital a few hours later, Zoey died in her mother's arms. Hancock says her daughter had a skull fracture and suffered brain bleeding, although she is still unsure of what lead to her injuries.

For now, she says she'll continue to remember her daughter, who would have celebrated her seventh birthday on Wednesday. She sees similarities of Zoey in the eyes of her two other children.

"I have a two-year-old boy and a seven-month-old daughter who will never get to know their sister," she said.

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