Woman charged with child neglect after daughter's death

AVON PARK -- A 29-year-old Avon Park woman has been charged with child neglect with great bodily harm in connection with her 9-year-old daughter’s death on Feb. 27.

Elizabeth Danielle Markley was arrested on a warrant Oct. 29 after the investigation into her daughter’s death revealed 11 missed cardiology appointments over the past two years. Her daughter was born with significant medical issues including complex congenital heart disease and having no spleen. The investigation revealed that Markley’s excuses for missing the appointments were not true.

The investigation also revealed that Markley had not been filling prescriptions for her daughter’s medication -- including the antibiotics needed to help her fight off infections (the spleen is a vital part of the body’s immune system). Her daughter became ill on Feb. 23 and got progressively worse. The night before her death, the girl was going in and out of consciousness, but Markley did not seek medical treatment until the following morning when she drove to Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg. By the time she got there, her daughter was struggling to breathe and had begun to turn blue.

Doctors at the hospital estimated the girl had been in septic shock at home for 12 hours before she was brought to the hospital.

The medical examiner declared the cause of death to be pneumonia with contributing factors of congenital heart disease as well as fluid and electrolyte imbalances.

“I want to commend Det. Cara Moseley for her dedication to seeing this investigation through,” Sheriff Paul Blackman said. “She spent more than 200 hours investigating and pulling all the facts together to find the probable cause for these charges.”

Markley’s bond was set at $100,000. If convicted of the second-degree felony charge, she faces up to 15 years in prison, 15 years probation and a $10,000 fine.

Note: Not all arrests result in convictions. Everyone is considered innocent until proven guilty in court.