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Tampa mother charged with manslaughter after sick child dies

Jolanda Stridiron
Published Apr. 27, 2016

TAMPA — A Tampa mother is facing a manslaughter charge after she failed to seek medical care for her sick daughter, authorities said.

Jolanda Stridiron, 39, was arrested Sunday after a more than yearlong investigation in the death of her 6-year-old daughter in February 2015, Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Cristal Nunez said.

The girl had previously been diagnosed with Dandy-Walker Syndrome, which causes the brain to develop abnormally, Nunez said.

On Feb. 7, 2015, the child began vomiting and complaining about severe headaches. After interviewing several witnesses, investigators with the Sheriff's Office and the State Attorney's Office learned that Stridiron decided not to take her daughter to the emergency room because she was worried about paying the insurance deductible, Nunez said. Instead, she planned to wait until a scheduled doctor's appointment the following week.

Two days later, the child died.

Investigators determined that Stridiron had the training and instructions by doctors to know her daughter needed to be treated immediately, Nunez said.

Dandy-Walker Syndrome involves the cerebellum, the area of the brain that coordinates movement, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Symptoms often occur in early infancy and can include slow motor development and progressive enlargement of the skull. In older children, increased pressure within the skull can cause irritability, vomiting, unsteadiness and lack of muscle coordination.

A spokesman for the State Attorney's Office declined to comment because the case is active.

Stridiron works as a ticket agent for Greyhound Lines, according to her Facebook page. Jail records show she was arrested at the Greyhound station on Polk Street in Tampa.

Stridiron was booked into the Orient Road Jail on a charge of aggravated manslaughter of a child, an offense punishable by up to life prison. She remained there Tuesday in lieu of $50,000 bail.

Records show that this is her first arrest in Florida.

Times senior news researcher John Martin contributed to this report. Contact Tony Marrero at tmarrero@tampabay.com or (813) 226-3374. Follow @tmarrerotimes.

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