Quantcast

Family of slain 2-year-old speak out - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Family of slain 2-year-old speak out

Posted: Updated:
FAIR HAVEN, Vt. - "She was so happy. So full of life," said Michelle Brown, a family member of Dezirae Sheldon. "She is beautiful -- very, very beautiful."
     
But just days after Dezirae Sheldon's second birthday, that young life was tragically cut short. Police say the Poultney toddler died from blunt force trauma to her head. On Saturday her stepfather, 31-year-old Dennis Duby, was arrested and is being charged with second degree murder.

For family and friends -- like Dezirae's Aunt Lisa Eastman -- the loss has been devastating. "We just wish we could hold her and kiss her and show her that she is loved, because the last act of any kind that she ever saw was in vain.  And that's all we keep playing in our mind is what she must have seen," Eastman said.

Eastman says Dezirae had a troubled upbringing from the beginning.  She says her sister Sandra -- the girls mother -- has a rocky past of child abuse.  "And it's important that no other family or no other children go through this," Brown said.

And this family that is dealing with the tragic loss says it could have been prevented.  Last March Eastman started a petition -- Justice for Dezirae -- after a previous incident that left the baby with a broken leg. Eastman pleaded guilty to child cruelty for failing to get Dezirae prompt medical care for the broken leg.* The aunt says that Vermont Department for Children and Families failed Dezirae and the many signs along the way should have kept the girl away from her mother and stepfather. "She was two years old. She died three days after her second birthday. She will never see her third birthday. She will never be able to go to school. She'll never be able to fall in love and get her heart broken by some stupid little boy. She'll never be able to get married and have her own kids. She'll never be able to do anything," Eastman said.
 
DCF officials were not available for comment Sunday.  A rally for the toddler is planned for Monday at noon in front of the DCF building in downtown Rutland.

*Editor's note: Authorities brought to our attention on June 26, 2014, that WCAX News previously reported Sandra Eastman was convicted of breaking Dezirae Sheldon's leg. That was incorrect. Eastman was convicted of child cruelty by medical neglect. We apologize for the error.

Related Story:

UPDATE : Police investigating Vt. toddler's death 

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • N.H. man killed in Lunenburg crash

    N.H. man killed in Lunenburg crash

    Monday, September 1 2014 11:33 PM EDT2014-09-02 03:33:55 GMT
    One man is dead following a tractor trailer rollover in Lunenburg.
    One man is dead following a tractor trailer rollover in Lunenburg.
  • 2 charged with skid-steer joyride on I-89

    2 charged with skid-steer joyride on I-89

    Monday, September 1 2014 10:15 PM EDT2014-09-02 02:15:25 GMT
    The theft of some construction vehicles caused chaos on the Interstate this weekend.
    The theft of some construction vehicles caused chaos on the Interstate this weekend.
  • Bike racers wrap up weekend events

    Bike racers wrap up weekend events

    Monday, September 1 2014 9:59 PM EDT2014-09-02 01:59:03 GMT
    The Green Mountain Stage Race took to the streets of Burlington Monday.
    The Green Mountain Stage Race took to the streets of Burlington Monday.
  • Allergy sufferers brave ragweed season

    Allergy sufferers brave ragweed season

    Monday, September 1 2014 7:08 PM EDT2014-09-01 23:08:26 GMT
    If you're sneezing, your nose is running and you're eyes are itchy once again this year -- you're not alone. Fall pollen counts are peaking in our region and proving tough for allergy sufferers looking to enjoy the outdoors.Despite a spate of heat and humidity, the signs of fall are undeniable. Cooler temperatures and color are on the way. And even though many think of spring as "allergy season" due to tree pollens, this time of year can be particularly tough for allergy sufferers, too -- bec...
    If you're sneezing, your nose is running and you're eyes are itchy once again this year -- you're not alone. Fall pollen counts are peaking in our region and proving tough for allergy sufferers looking to enjoy the outdoors.Despite a spate of heat and humidity, the signs of fall are undeniable. Cooler temperatures and color are on the way. And even though many think of spring as "allergy season" due to tree pollens, this time of year can be particularly tough for allergy sufferers, too -- bec...
  • Holiday drivers find lower prices at the pump

    Holiday drivers find lower prices at the pump

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:59 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:59:21 GMT
    Drivers this holiday weekend found lower gas prices at the pump.
    Drivers this holiday weekend found lower gas prices at the pump.
  • Sanders addresses Labor Day rally

    Sanders addresses Labor Day rally

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:51 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:51:52 GMT
    Community members gathered in Burlington's Battery Park Monday to celebrate Labor Day -- and hear from Senator Bernie Sanders.Union leaders addressed the importance of employees supporting one another. They also thanked the community for supporting Vermont's unions. Senator Sanders says the holiday is for working people to not only celebrate their gains, but to also address issues facing the working class."There's a lot of work in front of us if we're going to make sure that our kids and our ...
    Community members gathered in Burlington's Battery Park Monday to celebrate Labor Day -- and hear from Senator Bernie Sanders.Union leaders addressed the importance of employees supporting one another. They also thanked the community for supporting Vermont's unions. Senator Sanders says the holiday is for working people to not only celebrate their gains, but to also address issues facing the working class."There's a lot of work in front of us if we're going to make sure that our kids and our ...
  • Authorities seize animals from Santa's Land

    Authorities seize animals from Santa's Land

    Monday, September 1 2014 4:32 PM EDT2014-09-01 20:32:03 GMT
    The Windham County Sheriffs Department says it seized multiple animals from the theme park this weekend.
    The Windham County Sheriffs Department says it seized multiple animals from the theme park this weekend.
  • Body discovered in Massena

    Body discovered in Massena

    Monday, September 1 2014 4:02 PM EDT2014-09-01 20:02:43 GMT
    New York State Police are investigating an unidentified body found in Massena.
    New York State Police are investigating an unidentified body found in Massena.
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WCAX. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.