LANCASTER COUNTY, S.C. – Authorities have arrested a woman in connection with the homicide of a 3-year-old in Lancaster County.
According to the Lancaster Police Department, officers responded to reports of an unconscious 3-year-old at a home in the 400 block of Heath Circle just after 12 p.m. on Monday, December 18.
When officials arrived, the child was found lying on her back in the living room and was unresponsive.
The child was rushed to the hospital with no pulse. Efforts to revive the child were unsuccessful, according to police, and the child was pronounced dead at the hospital emergency room.
A warrant stated that numerous bruises were found on the child’s body. The child’s caretaker, identified as 25-year-old Kayla Marie Cook, said she was alone with the child since 7 a.m. that day while the child’s father was at work. Cook told police she put the child in the bathtub and when she came back to check on her, she was lying face up. She alleged the child was unresponsive, but was looking around and breathing.
An autopsy confirmed that the child died from cerebral edema, which was caused by blunt force trauma to her head and that she died within minutes of suffering the injury. Cook told police the child “was not acting right” and she waited until a neighbor arrived to call 911.
After reviewing evidence presented by investigators, a warrant for homicide by child abuse was obtained against Cook. On December 29, Cook was arrested by deputies in Cleveland County, N.C. On Tuesday, Cook was transferred into the custody of the Lancaster County Detention Center without bond.
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