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Family of 4-year-old who drowned speaks out after Danville daycare surrenders license

The operator of a Danville daycare center surrendered her license to the state after a 4-year-old girl, Ryleigh Arnett drowned in a pool at the facility last fall. (WCCU)

The operator of a Danville daycare center surrendered her license to the state after a 4-year-old girl, Ryleigh Arnett drowned in a pool at the facility last fall.

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services said the operator of Shawnee's Little Shadows Daycare in Danville, Shawnita Blave turned in her license earlier in July, saying she still grieves for the girl's family.

According to Illinois DCFS the daycare center, located at 64 Maplewood Avenue has been open since 2005. DCFS said the center had no problems in the past until September 21, 2016 when Ryleigh drowned in a pool at the daycare.

Ryleigh was found underwater by the center's operator. The Vermilion County Sheriff's Department worked with investigators to find out what exactly happened at the time of the drowning, but the daycare eventually received two allegations of neglect in connection to the drowning.

Fox Champaign received an email from Ryleigh’s uncle Jeff Arnett. In the email he said in part:

“We're tired of seeing stories of how Shawnee grieves for our family a little research into her Facebook page and she and the rest of her family and friends publicly call our family weak and say my niece died because she had bad parents. The tragedy here is that DCFS found her guilty of death by negligence and inadequate supervision, but the states attorney isn't filing charges so my niece can have a chance at justice.”

Fox Champaign reached out to the daycare's operator for a comment about surrendering her license, but she declined.

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