Inside WRAL

Asking Fort Bragg: Where's the justice for Sonny?

Posted May 15, 2015

WRAL was first contacted by the Degenhard family two years following the death of their son Sonny at a Fort Bragg day care center. They reached out to us for help, since they weren’t getting answers about what happened to Sonny, who died after being left unattended while on his stomach, even though he couldn’t roll over.

While keeping track of their federal lawsuit against the Army, I noticed a proposed settlement about a month ago. I reached out to the Degenhards to see how they were doing and, to my surprise, their frustrations had grown even more. This time, instead of failing to get answers about what happened to their son, the Army did not provide answers as to how day care worker training had changed in the wake of Sonny’s death.

We went to Fort Bragg and in a matter of weeks, received the answers the Degenhards had been waiting years for. We also investigated Fort Bragg day care inspection reports after Sonny’s death and were alarmed with what we found. We took those concerns to Fort Bragg as well.

Monday at 6 p.m., the Degenhards continue their fight for justice for Sonny.


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  • Santino Degenhard May 16, 2015
    user avatar

    We want people to know that there was only one person fired in our sons death even though it was an entire staff and management failure. No punitive actions were taken. Not even child abuse or neglect charges at the very least. His death should have never happened! Workers involved were moved to other daycare centers on post. That's not fixing the problem to me, that's moving the complacent workers and managers that should have been fired involved in our son's death. We hope his story will allow you to form your own opinions and thoughts as we asked for answers and what Ft. Bragg responded with. "Checking the block" training didn't save our son. It's easy to point the fingers and blame only one person. However, the cameras in the room show the real truth to their "proper training". It's in our hopes and prayers our little boy did not die in Vain and this NEVER happens again.

  • Mary Zulch May 15, 2015
    user avatar

    I am so very sorry that our federal government cannot meet federal guidelines in the care of our children.

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