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Suspect in toddler's death had prior convictions
BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - A Battle Creek man is in jail Friday night, accused of killing his girlfriend's one-year-old daughter.
Newschannel 3 broke the news of the investigation Thursday night.
Police say a sibling found 17-month-old Jaleah Boyd dead in their apartment on North Avenue around 5:30 p.m.
Overnight, police arrested Depaul Brown on an open murder charge.
It was around 5:30 p.m. Thursday when neighbors heard a commotion.
"I heard a woman on the phone; she was pacing back and forth, she was like 'she's dead, she's dead,'" said a neighbor.
As it turns out, 'she' was 17-month-old Jaleah Boyd. Neighbors tell Newschannel 3 her older sister found her lifeless on a bed in a back room.
Neighbors say they did what they could, but Jaleah was already gone.
"We tried to do mouth-to-mouth, her lips were cold; ice cold," said a neighbor. "Her feet were, like, freezing."
They also add that there were telltale marks on Jaleah's body.
"It looked like she got strangled, like somebody strangled her," a neighbor said. "Because there were, like, scratches, but it looked like bruises at the same time, and it was around her neck, like somebody tied something around her neck."
Police say 22-year-old Depaul Brown, the mother's boyfriend, caused trauma to the baby, resulting in her death.
"He made a statement as to his actions, and what occurred in that bedroom," said Det. Sgt. Jim Martens, with Battle Creek Police. "Again, we're waiting for physical evidence to come back and see if it fits."
Brown has a lengthy criminal history, dating back to 2008, including assault with a dangerous weapon, and resisting and obstructing a police officer.
As for Jaleah's mother, she has been questioned, but not arrested.