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Nov 9, 2012 12:11 AM by Jacqui Heinrich, jheinrich@koaa.com

Mother grieves loss of baby, found dead at local daycare

A local mom is grieving after her infant daughter was found dead at a local daycare. Even worse, the baby was named after the mother's best friend who was killed earlier this year in a gruesome murder-suicide.

It was February 21, 2012. Tara Buckler, 26, was standing in her bedroom with her four-year-old on one hip and her three-year-old on the other when she was shot in the head. Behind the trigger: her husband, Jeff Lawrence, who then turned the gun on himself.

"The night it happened I was watching 'Biggest Loser' with my mom and it scrolled across the bottom of the screen. I saw her street and I knew it was Tara," Mary Krolikowski said.

They'd been friends since kindergarten. When Mary became pregnant, Tara was among the first to know. "Tara's the one that started calling her [the baby] Addy when I was still pregnant. When Tara passed a couple days later I went to Brenda [Tara's mother] and asked if I could name her Tara Addyson," Krolikowski told News 5 in a tearful interview.

Tara Addyson Faith-- just a few days short of three months old-- was found dead on October 20, 2012. She was lying face down, unattended at a local daycare. She was doing 'tummy time', an exercise meant to strengthen neck and shoulder muscles.

"It was like losing her twice," Krolikowski said. "It sounds silly but I gave her that name to protect her. I never in a million years thought anything could ever happen to Addy."

Investigators don't believe the child's death was a crime and the coroner hasn't found anything conclusive. "There's just not really any answers, and they warned me that there may not be any answers. That's the hardest thing, I want to know why," Krolikowski said. "I've had so many people in the past few weeks say that 'time heals all wounds' or 'with time you'll get through this'. It's been my experience with Tara and with Addy that evry day is harder, every day is one more day since I've held my baby, one more day since I've heard her cry. It doesn't get easier, it gets harder."

She says the only thing that keeps her going is the hope that telling her story of devastation and loss will help others cherish and protect their families. "Every time you have a sense of normalcy you feel guilty because I feel like I'm leaving them behind, like I'm moving on without them. That 'normal' doesn't last but a few seconds," Krolikowski said. "My advice would be never, ever, ever put a baby on their tummy and walk away, not for a second. Nothing is more important than making sure that baby is O.K."

The name of the daycare isn't being released since there's no criminal investigation connected to the child's death. The message Krolikowski wants to send is just how important it is for every mother, father, and caretaker to monitor their children at all times.

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