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Vermont State Police

Arrest Made in Connection to Vermont Infant’s Death

Six-month-old Harper Rose Briar died on her third day attending the day care facility

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Vermont State Police

Vermont State Police have arrested a woman in connection to the death of a 6-month-old infant at a Rutland daycare in January.

Stacey L. Vaillancourt, 53, was arrested Monday on manslaughter and cruelty to a child charges stemming from the Jan. 24  death. Vaillancourt ran a state-certified in-home daycare center, according to police.

In January, police said rescue crews responded to a 911 call at an in-home day care facility on North Street in Rutland around 3:15 p.m. They arrived to find infant Harper Rose Briar unresponsive.

She was taken to Rutland Regional Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.

The medical examiner determined that Briar died from a high concentration of sedatives in her body, according to police. Diphenhydramine, the active sedative ingredient in over-the-counter antihistamines, was found in her body.

The drug is not intended for use on infants, according to police. Detectives determined that doctors had not prescribed the drug for Briar, and that Vaillancourt was the only person to care for her before her death. 

The day Briar died was just her third day attending the day care facility.

Vaillancourt was taken into custody and arraigned Monday in Rutland. It's unclear if she has an attorney.

Vermont State Police, Rutland City Police and the Vermont Department of Children and Families collaborated on the investigation.

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