JSO investigating baby girl's death

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is investigating after a 5-month-old girl was found unresponsive in a home on Cumberland Station Drive and was later pronounced dead.

JSO Sgt. Jay Farhat said police were called to the area around 3:30 p.m. after the 5-month-old, who was laying on a bed, stopped breathing. 

A 17-year-old girl, the daughter of the homeowner, was at the home and went to check on the sleeping infant when she noticed the baby was not breathing. The teen called 911 and started CPR on the baby until paramedics arrived.

The child was taken to St. Vincent's Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Farhat said the home is being investigated as an unlicensed day care, as eight other children were in the home.

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One adult homeowner was at the house, but left to go to the store to get soda and is being questioned, Farhat said. Neighbors also tell us the home where the baby was found is the home of a local bishop.

We did a public records search on the home and found Cleo and Portia Bentley live there. Neighbors confirmed their picture and we found out Cleo Bentley is listed as a bishop at the Natural Born Truth Ministry in Jacksonville.

There is no indication of injury and no signs of foul play in the baby girl's death, Farhat said.

Farhat said the autopsy on the baby will be done Friday morning and it is too soon to tell in the investigation if any arrests will be made.

Other kids were still being picked up from the home as police were responding to the scene on Thursday evening.

The Florida Department of Children and Families is investigating. According to DCF, under Florida law, when it comes to more than one non-related family group, a license is required.

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