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Family of Zephyrhills toddler found dead are sad and furious

Concerns raised over custody, previous incidents
Posted at 6:30 PM, Sep 26, 2016

We're learning more about the death of a Pasco County toddler. 

Authorities found 18-month old Sebastian Leib unresponsive inside of his Zephyrhills home on Saturday. 

Police are considering his legal guardian and her wife are now persons of interest in his death. Right now, they're both facing drug charges.

But the little boy's family is saddened and heartbroken, insisting the tragedy could've been avoided.

A bright-eyed little boy is now gone. Sebastian Leib's family is crushed, because long before he died, many relatives say they'd been fighting for custody to keep him in his home state of Ohio.

"I tried so hard to get those kids, safe here with me and my grandmother," said Katie Leib, Sebastian's aunt.

Katie Leib's brother Michael is Sebastian's dad, and she was trying to build a case against the baby's mom, Kristen McQuinley, to get custody when both parents went to jail.

"I had them with family, safe. And I did what I could. But I had to give them to the mother. I mean, that's all I could've done," said Leib.

The result was that right before Kristen went to prison, she signed over custody to her cousin, Kim Culp, who took baby Sebastian and his older sister to live here with she and her wife Angie Burghy in Zephyrhills.

But the rest of the family back in Ohio tell us they had no clue where the kids were for months, and when they finally tracked the kids down...

"They painted this picture that everything was fine," said Valerie Conley Seagle, Sebastian's grandmother.

But now, the family's learned things were far from fine.

"Out of nowhere, he's dead. And they lied to all of  us," said Katie Leib.

Zephyhills Police went to the family's house four times this year for reports of domestic fights and EMS went out there once, too. DCF investigated one of those incidents. But none of those events led to the kids being pulled from the home, and they were never reported to the biological parents or other family in Ohio.

"I had no idea any of this was going on. If I had known, I would've walked down there to get my babies back. I just had no idea," said Conley Seagle.

Ultimately, the family feels like police and DCF could've handled the case from Ohio to Florida, a lot better. And those missing steps are ones they think could've saved Sebastian's life.

"If they would've been here with us, this never would've happened," said Leib.

Now the family's coming together fighting to bring Sebastian's sister back home to Ohio and to get Sebastian's body back for burial.  A GoFundMe page has been created to support those efforts. 

Police are still waiting on Sebastian Leib's autopsy results to determine how he died and that could lead to more charges against his legal guardian and her wife.