Police: Couple charged in connection to death of 4-year-old girl
BRISTOL, Conn. (WFSB/Gray News) - A married couple in Connecticut have been charged in connection to the June death of a 4-year-old girl. Her cause of death has been labeled as fatal child abuse syndrome.
Ashley and Rocky Hernandez-DeJesus are out on bond after they were charged with manslaughter and cruelty charges in connection with a 4-year-old girl. Court documents say the couple were the child’s caregivers.
Police say the victim died In June 2022. Her cause of death has been labeled as fatal child abuse syndrome with blunt injuries of the head, torso and extremities. The manner of her death is considered child abuse homicide, WFSB reports.
Doctors say the victim suffered from an “anoxic brain injury,” which is caused when the brain is deprived of oxygen. The couple told police conflicting reports that the girl fell at a playground and hit her head.
But doctors said they also found other, previous injuries that were trying to heal.
According to documents, the girl had a bruise to the left side of her head, accompanied by significant swelling. There was also a fresh bruise to her chin.
Records also show “the injuries to the victim’s wrists and ankles appeared to be deep into the skin and were scabbed over. Many of the scabs were partially torn off, causing a re-injury resulting in an exposed wound. The victim’s physical appearance was extremely frail and thin.”
The Department of Children and Families says that before June 2022, it had “not received any reports of maltreatment specific to this child but had received reports regarding this child’s siblings.”
The department said the last report was in 2017. At one point, the kids were given to a relative. Amid that case, the little girl was born, and she was also taken away. However, in 2019, the little girl was reunited, while the other siblings stayed with the relatives.
The case was eventually closed.
The couple are next expected to appear in court Jan. 12.
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