Memorial service held for Brook Stagles

IRONDEQUOIT, N.Y. (WROC-TV) - A memorial service was held for Brook Stagles Tuesday in Irondequoit, one year to the day she died from complications of blunt force trauma.

The three-year-old died Nov. 14, 2016 after her father's girlfriend, Erica Bell, punched her in the stomach and failed to get her medical help.

About 100 people gathered at Christ the King Church to remember the life of Brook. The service didn't focus on what led to her death, instead focused on the light and love she brought.

In attendance were Monroe County assistant district attorneys Sara VanStrydonk and Patrick Gallagher who worked on the case, community members, and Brook's family including her mother, Ashley, and her grandfather, John Geer.

"She was a very happy, energetic, loving, loved child," said Geer.

Geer said there's not a moment that goes by where his little adventurous and spunky granddaughter isn't missed. 

"About this time last year, Ashley was laying in bed with Brook consoling her," said Geer. "It's just very hard. When a child is taken from you so suddenly... I wouldn't wish it on anybody."

Geer is maintaining his stance that more still needs to be done with CPS. He says he's heard a lot of talk about change, but there needs to be action taken and soon. 

Melanie Blow from the Stop Abuse Campaign also attended the service. Blow said a child dying from abuse is horrible, and CPS needs to focus on stopping abuse before it happens. 

"What CPS considers preventative services are services for families in which the abuse has already started," said Blow. "It's much harder to stop abuse than it is to prevent it from starting."

Bell was sentenced last week to 25 years to life in prison last week. Brook's father, Michael Stagles, pled guilty to criminally negligent homicide and is scheduled to be sentenced next month.


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