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Fairfield day care operator sentenced in 4-month-old's death

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FAIRFIELD -

A Fairfield day care owner will spend 2 1/2 years in prison for the death of a 4-month-old Shelton boy who overdosed on Benadryl while in her care.

Carol Cardillo pleaded no-contest to second-degree manslaughter in November, which means she doesn't admit guilt but doesn't dispute the charge either. 

The judge handed down 10 years in prison, with the sentence to be suspended after 30 months. Then she must serve five years on probation. She is also banned for life from working in child care.

"Whether it was -- one year, or five years or 10 years -- her sentence has a start and end date," said Michelle Seagull, the infant's mother. "Our sentence without Adam is forever."

Cardillo also pleaded not guilty to other lesser charges, including reckless endangerment.

"I struggle every day to battle my anger at the unfairness of life and my disgust at Carol's actions," the victim's father, Matthew Seagull, told the courtroom.

Police say Cardillo operated an unlicensed day care out of her home on Edgewood Road in Fairfield for 11 years.

Police say the infant, Adam Seagull, had been in her care for 11 days when he died in March 2016. At the time, Cardillo called 911 to report she couldn't wake him from a nap.

Initially, the family thought it was a case of sudden infant death syndrome. Then an autopsy found the boy had a lethal dose of Benadryl in his system.

Court records show Cardillo had purchased 90 bottles of Benadryl between 2013 and 2016. Police say she used it to put fussy kids to sleep.

The boy's parents say they never gave Cardillo permission to give him medicine.

Given the chance to speak, Cardillo said she was "very sad this this happened to a beautiful little boy," but she fell short of apologizing and did not address the Seagulls. 

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