Prosecutors consider charges after 2-year-old dies from dehydration

NEW STRAITSVILLE, OH (WCMH) — A two-year-old girl died last January in the Perry County community of New Straitsville under what authorities are now calling suspicious circumstances.

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is handling the investigation after the local coroner ruled the death a homicide two weeks ago.

NBC4 spoke with the baby’s mother. We are not identifying either her or her daughter.

“I feel like my heart is broke, I am not holding up, the only thing that is keeping me sane is I have three other beautiful babies,” she said.

No one has been charged in the little girl’s death. The Perry County Coroner said the toddler died from dehydration.

“This child died because she was not provided enough fluid and died of dehydration,” said Dr. Bradley C. Wilson, Perry County’s Coroner.

New Straitsville homicide 1Wilson said police obtained a search warrant to get in the home. They then found the toddler’s second-floor bedroom very hot, measuring 98 degrees.

Wilson said the toddler was unclothed and had a tiny bit of water left in a sippy cup inside the crib. The girl was found on the floor where first responders and the mother had tried to revive her.

“They said do CPR on her and I couldn’t get her to wake up,” she said.

The autopsy was performed in Licking County and Dr. Wilson said it revealed other findings.

“She was underweight and malnourished,” Wilson said.

The mother said that is because the toddler was taken by air ambulance to a Huntington, West Virginia hospital last November. At the time, she was sick and not eating.

Doctor Wilson claims the toddler’s death is a case neglect. Now it is up to the Perry County prosecutor and BCI’s Crimes against Children’s Unit to decide if anyone will be charged in the homicide.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine created a Crimes Against Children Initiative within the office soon after becoming Attorney General. The focus of the initiative is protecting Ohio’s children. The unit is made up of special agents who specialize in investigating crimes involving kids.

Reporter Rick Reitzel is following this story and will have the latest coming up on NBC4 at 5pm and 6pm. For more stories right now, grab our free news app for iPhone or Android.

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