Parents Under Investigation After Child’s Death Ruled a Homicide

Upon examination of the circumstances, Illinois authorities have ruled that the recent death of a 5-year-old girl was murder. At this point, the stepmother and biological father are under investigation in connection with the homicide. According to the report, the little girl died from internal injuries suffered through blunt force trauma.

Due to physical signs, such as bruises and cigarette burns, law enforcement believes that the stepmother and father may have been abusive and neglectful. The girl was under the custody of her father at the time of her death because the mother had previously been accused of neglect by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. Both the father and the stepmother claim that the death was an accident and that every attempt was made to save the girl’s life.

According to the adults in the home at the time of the accident, the girl was in the bathtub before her death. The stepmother claims to have heard a bump and then discovered the girl in the bathtub, unresponsive. Efforts to resuscitate the girl were unsuccessful. Although the parents are under investigation, it is not clear if there is  much evidence that could indicate that they played a role in the tragic incident.

No matter how tragic or serious the circumstances might be, every person has the right to legal counsel if he or she is under investigation for or charged with a crime, including homicide. An individual may work on a defense strategy, even if charges have not been formally filed. At this point, all of the parents are innocent in the eyes of the law as they have not been convicted of any crime. They are fully entitled to all of the protections of the law and would be wise to ensure that those guarantees are honored.

Source: Chicago Tribune, “Death of girl, 5, ruled homicide“, Peter Nickeas and Rosemary Regina Sobol, May 8, 2015

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