A 19-year-old East Baltimore man was charged yesterday with murder and child abuse in the beating death of his girlfriend's 11-month-old daughter, who was found unconscious in bed Monday. The baby's 20-year-old mother also will be charged with the child's death, police said.
The baby, Renae Hicks, died Tuesday evening at University Medical Center after she was removed from life support systems, Agent Arlene K. Jenkins, a police spokeswoman, said.
The state medical examiner's office ruled the death a homicide after an autopsy showed that the child had died of blunt trauma to the head, police said. The child also had multiple bruises on her face and body, according to the report.
The child's mother, Giselle Hicks, and her boyfriend, Tyrone Myrick, had been charged with child abuse and battery before the baby's death, Detective Errol Etting said. Police yesterday charged Mr. Myrick with homicide and issued a warrant for the same charge for Ms. Hicks, who is being held in the Baltimore Detention Center on $75,000 bail, he said.
Mr. Myrick was being held last night at the Central District police lockup.
Early Monday morning, a city ambulance crew responded to a call for a sick baby at an apartment in the 2800 block of Argyle Avenue, police said. When they arrived shortly before 7 a.m., they found 11-month-old Renae unconscious. Ms. Hicks told medics that the child had fallen off a bed and hit her head on a radio, Agent Jenkins said. She said the baby fell off the bed about 20 minutes before the ambulance crew arrived, police said.
But Mr. Myrick, Ms. Hicks' boyfriend, told police that the child had fallen off the bed and hit her head the afternoon before. Ms. Hicks then changed her account of what had happened to the child, Agent Jenkins said.
The couple said they tried to awaken the baby at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday and couldn't, police said. Doctors at University Medical Center who examined the child, however, stated that the child's injuries were inconsistent with a fall from a bed, Agent Jenkins said.
Mr. Myrick, of the 2000 block of East North Avenue, and Ms. Hicks were arrested Tuesday and charged with child abuse and battery before Renae died at the hospital, police said.
The baby's 2-year-old sister Ashley was placed in the custody of the Baltimore Department of Social Services at that time.
The social services agency received a report Oct. 7 that Renae had been neglected, but the allegation could not be substantiated, Sue Fitzsimmons, an agency spokeswoman, said yesterday.