Rogersville daycare operator faces 34 felony charges involving children

GREENE COUNTY, Mo. It's been almost a year since a four month old baby girl died in an unlicensed daycare in a Rogersville home.

Brynlee Jones' mother, Kaleigh Cole, is pushing for tougher laws to prevent this from happening again.

"I was describing it to someone earlier. It's one of those things that you never think's going to happen to you and it did. This is my life now. It's about me. It's about my daughter it's about my family. It's heart wrenching," she said.

Nearly a year after her baby died, Cheri Beason, the illegal daycare's operator, is facing 34 charges of felony child abuse and neglect.

"I honestly had no idea it was coming so I was shocked. I was sent the mug shot before the prosecutor had time to call me," said Cole.

She said she's been silently grieving.

"I stayed quiet for quite a long time about what happened. Nobody really knew. Everyone just thought it was SIDS, you know, nothing we could do about it," she said.

According to court documents something could have been done. Those records say Jones died as a result of unsafe sleep. It happened when Beason left the house and only one adult to care for 20 children, 5 years-old and younger.

Cole holds the memory of her child close.

"Today, just thinking about her, whenever all this is happening it helps a lot," she said.

She remembers her first born with a twinkle in her eye.

"She was extremely happy. Very happy. Laughing all the time. She always just looked at you and just smiled. She was never upset. She wasn't a crier really," explained Cole.

The community also gives her strength.

"There's so many thoughtful people out there. It really means a lot," she said.

Cole is now fighting for tougher laws for the child care industry.

"It's sad that it takes things like this to change it or to make laws. But, it's got to happen," she said.

Cole is hoping for tougher consequences for negligent actions caused by child care workers.

"To know that she's the reason that other babies, other children might be saved, it helps. I am glad that something's happening. It needed to happen. Making it this far in general, I'm very happy about so we'll just kind of see where it goes," explained Cole.

Cole's wrongful death lawsuit against Beason was finalized just today.

Beason is out of jail on $5,000 bond.

She'll be arraigned this Friday on all 34 felony counts.