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Coroner: Infant had old injuries, death ruled homicide

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BATON ROUGE - Police charged a mother in connection with the death of her young daughter tonight.

Lt. Don Kelly said investigators arrested Ashley Heard, 28, and charged her with second-degree cruelty to a juvenile.

Police said 11-month old Aaliyah Heard died Saturday morning. She was taken to the hospital unresponsive Friday.

The coroner's preliminary report today showed the child had multiple injuries on her body, including bruising on her head and abrasions in several other places. The coroner's spokesperson said the marks were in various stages of healing.

"She wasn't [with anyone] but her family, everybody she was with, was her family," said Jaunita Allen, the baby's grandmother.

Allen said her six-year old grandson found the child unresponsive Friday afternoon.

"Next thing you know, about two or three minutes later, he [saw] her foaming from the mouth and her nose. I don't know what happened, I'm just going by what my grandson was telling me," said Allen.

Baton Rouge Police and investigators with the state Department of Children and Family Services questioned the girl's family members after she was taken to the hospital, but no charges were filed at that time.

Lt. Kelly said Ashley Heard will be booked into the parish prison this evening, that the investigation is continuing and more charges are expected.


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