AN emaciated 14-month-old girl apparently died of “nutritional neglect” before she was stuffed into a suitcase and put in a neighbour’s rubbish bin, according to police who charged the mother with homicide.
Tania R Coleman, 20, was being held without bail today after identifying herself as the mother as police canvassed the neighbourhood.
Ms Coleman is pregnant and has two other girls, aged two and three, authorities said.
The other children were examined and appear unharmed, authorities said. They were placed with Ms Coleman’s relatives.
It is not clear how long the youngest daughter had been dead, but Erie County Coroner Lyell Cook told the Erie Times-News the remains were “in very poor shape”. There were no obvious signs of trauma, he said. DNA tests will be done to confirm her identity.
Ms Coleman and a man described by police as her boyfriend, 19-year-old Xavier A Hollamon, tried to conceal the death by removing the body from the home, he said.
They were charged with concealing the child’s death, tampering with evidence and abuse of a corpse. Ms Coleman is charged with child endangerment, along with criminal homicide.