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 after being returned to her parents’ custody, Johnson City Police investigator, Joe Gaines, wrote in sworn warrants.
Court documents said the girl only weighed 12 pounds (5 kilograms) when she died.
Sabura 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.
The newspaper reported that the results of an autopsy that police and prosecutors received 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.
“Records show that she was in good health,” Gaines wrote when she returned to her parents.
Authorities responded to the couple’s home on February 21 after a report that the girl had not responded, and was declared dead at the scene, Kevin Peters, the 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.