1-year-old dies at LeBonheur, mother charged with murder

1-year-old dies at LeBonheur, mother charged with murder

TUNICA, MS - (WMC-TV) – The 1-year-old girl who was being treated for abuse at LeBonheur Children's Hospital has died.

The girl's mother, Latoya Ankston, is behind bars and charged with murder.  Her bond is set at $1 million.

Ankston, 25, lives in an apartment at the Shady Lane apartment complex in Tunica. We've learned she has four other children all of whom are under the age of six.

"Sorry that it happened," neighbor Terry Briggs said.

The apartment is empty now. The 25-year-old mother is in jail for allegedly abusing her 1-year-old daughter until the child was unresponsive.

An affidavit states that Ankston struck the child's entire body repeatedly with an open hand and closed fist causing brain trauma.

The girl was rushed to Lebonheur Children's Hospital.

Tunica County Investigator Captain Cedrick Davis said these are the most difficult cases to cover.

"A one year old is helpless, harmless, and it takes a toll on the investigator, because if you're a parent you understand. But we cant let our emotions interfere with our job," Davis said.

Neighbors also were saddened by what they heard.

"Things happen all over the world, but I'm really sorry about that though," Briggs said.

"My concern is why she did it anyway," neighbor Henry McLemore said.

Taken into custody with the mother was her live-in boyfriend, 32-year-old Alfred Siggers. He was released and was not charged.

"He's being released pending investigation," Davis continued. "We still have a bit of work to do but right now we know that he wasn't involved in the incident that occurred when the child was taken to Lebonheur."

A family member who identified himself as Ankston's brother said the family was shocked and wished Latoya could come home.

Ankston's brother also said that everyone needs God in their lives during times like this.

Latoya Ankston's other four children are in the custody of the Department of Human Services.  The youngest is one month old.

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