Investigation continues into toddler's death

By: Cheryl Glassford Email
By: Cheryl Glassford Email

Kentucky State Police are investigating the death of a 22 month-old Powell County toddler.

Family members say 22 month-old Danika Leighton Charles lit up everyone around her with her smile.

But now her short life is over, and there are unanswered questions.

Some of those questions come from the Charles family who ask, why didn't health officials notice the signs of abuse and report it to police.

Weeks before her death the baby was brought into the hospital with bruising, and sores on parts of baby's body.

Authorities say around two Friday afternoon, the little girl was found unresponsive by her mother Jessica Charles inside their home in the Vaughn's Mill Community.

"I went to get her out of bed, " said Charles, "she was blue, she had little bruises all over her, and she wasn't breathing."

Charles says she called 9-1-1 and began giving her daughter c.p.r. until paramedics arrived.

After being rushed to Clark County Regional Hospital, Danika was pronounced dead.

According to the Clark County Coroner she died of blunt force trauma to her head, chest, abdomen, legs and arms.

"I'd never ever hurt my kids," said Charles, "anybody that knows me knows that I'd never hurt my children."

Charles says her daughter has been in and out of the hospital for more than 3 weeks, with what she says were unexplained sores, hair-loss, and bruising.

"She had one bruise on her head," Charles said, "We couldn't get any answers."

She says Danika had just returned from a recent hospital stay when she died.

Kentucky State Police are investigating Danika's death as a homicide.

Family members say Charles is not the only one who has been alone with the toddler recently.

There have been no arrests in the case.


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