Little Girl Lost: The questions left behind by Brook Stagles death
By Meaghan M. McDermott
At every turn, every safeguard that could or should have protected the life of young Brook Stagles failed her.
Her mother and mother’s family were unable to secure custody of the girl in the weeks before her death on Nov. 14, 2016.
Her father’s family either didn’t notice or turned a blind eye to abuse allegedly going on under the roof of their home on Ablemarle Street in Rochester. And Brook’s father, Michael Stagles, either participated in abuse so significant that his 3-year-old daughter was bruised from head to toe, or allowed his girlfriend to inflict such injuries on Brook that the girl ultimately died of complications from a part of her intestines popping like a balloon.
The murder trial of Brook’s accused killer, her father’s former girlfriend Erica Bell, wrapped up last week and on Friday Monroe County Court Judge Christopher Ciaccio declared her guilty in the beating death of Brook. Bell was charged with second-degree murder and first-degree manslaughter in connection with Brook’s death.