2-year-old brain dead, abuse suspected

March 24, 2009 4:29:08 PM PDT
Police are investigating the events that led to a two-year old girl being pronounced brain dead, and the death of a baby. Police say the baby's death may have been homicide.

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Surprisingly in this case, police say the incidents are not related.

Police responded to a home on Percheron Road just after midnight Saturday, after receiving a report of an injured child. They arrived to find a 2-year old girl in the care of Mary Downing. Downing is engaged to the little girl's grandfather, who is also the child's caregiver.

The ensuing investigation raised the suspicion of the police.

"Before the child was even transported by ambulance, officers had suspicions that there was more to the story than what they were being told, based upon physical injuries to the child. The child suffered severe injuries including skull fractures, and the rest of it. And, like I said we're still in the process of our investigation," said Livermore Police Chief Steve Sweeney.

The child was pronounced brain dead Monday and was expected to be taken off life support systems Tuesday evening.

Police say Downing has since changed her story and is now confessing. She has been charged with attmpted murder and assault of a child.

In the second case, police responded last Thursday around 5:00 a.m. to Jessica Adam's house in the 1900 block of Spruce Street, on report of a non-responsive 2-year-old boy.

The child died that morning.

The mother is cooperating with police who have not ruled the death a homicide, although the police chief said it could still be ruled a homicide. In the meantime, Adams has been charged with a parole violation for being under the influence of narcotics.

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