Authorities said the parents of a 19-month-old girl from Tennessee were charged with premeditated murder and aggravated child abuse after the forensic doctor determined that the young child had been killed.
Samia Crater died four months after she was returned to her parents’ custody, Johnson City Police Detective Joe Gaines has written arrest warrants, according to Johnson City Press.
Court documents said the girl only weighed 12 pounds (5 kilograms) when she died.
Sabora de Walton, 20, and Jeremiah T. Crater, 22, were arrested and were being held at the Washington County Detention Center. It was not immediately clear if they had lawyers who could comment on their behalf.
Autopsy results received by police and prosecutors this month determined that the cause of death was severe head and neck trauma and that the method of death was murder.
Police statements said that the Child Services Department was holding the girl between August 2018 and October 2019. When she returned to her parents, Gaines wrote, “The records show that she was in good health.”
Authorities responded to the couple’s home after a report that the girl had failed to respond, and was declared dead at the scene, Kevin Peters, Johnson City Police Captain, said in a statement.
He said the police noticed her condition at the time.
“She looked emaciated. Her ribs and spine were clearly visible and she sank in her cheeks.” “In addition, there were signs of trauma at various points around her head.”
Police said parents were unable to explain the child’s injuries and told officers that they were not aware of any health problems.