Neighbors "disgusted" by death of Wagner toddler - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Neighbors "disgusted" by death of Wagner toddler

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Taylor Cournoyer, 21 Taylor Cournoyer, 21
Laurie Cournoyer, 28 Laurie Cournoyer, 28

It's been a difficult couple of days for people in Wagner following the news of the death of a two year-old RieLee Lovell.

Taylor and Laurie Cournoyer are in custody for child abuse or neglect and failing to report the death of a child.

But how are people in this small community reacting?

More flowers drape the barred door and balloons are tossed in the breeze outside the home where the 2-year old was discovered dead in a closet.

"I don't really know what happened but what did happen is a tragedy and it's too close to home you know?" Said Kevin Drapeau.

Drapeau and his family live just a few houses down the street from the home of Taylor and Laurie Cournoyer.

The baby's grandmother, Pamela Ashes, tells KSFY the reason the Cournoyers were watching RieLee was because her mother Eileen was having complications with her current pregnancy and she just needed some time.

According to Ashes, the parents tried calling the Cournoyers on the night of July 2 to come over for a visit with their daughter, but couldn't get a response. We now know why.

Court documents released Thursday shows the Cournoyers both were using methamphetamine, marijuana, and prescription drugs when they last saw RieLee. Taylor Cournoyer even told police RieLee could've been dead for more than a day and a half.

"I guess the big question everyone has is why?, why? it's not the baby's fault." Said Drapeau.

Even though most people in the neighborhood didn't want to go on camera they tell KSFY they're disgusted by what happened in the house and to little RieLee. One parent told says he hopes there is a lesson here that shows the community how dangerous drugs really are.

"We're praying for the parents that lost a child, the community just needs to take the time to talk to their kids about this situation and what happened, hopefully it gets knocked into some of these kids' heads and turn them the other way." Said Drapeau.

An 11-year-old is also being held as the suspect in the child's death. Because he is a juvenile, there is a chance that details and questions about this case may go on answered since juvenile court is not open to the public.

Taylor and Laurie Cournoyer are expected to make their first appearance on Tuesday in Lake Andes.

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