Mother of slain 3-year-old indicted on charges of child abuse

Columbia boy's death last year unrelated to 2010 incident, police say

January 09, 2012|By Andrea F. Siegel, The Baltimore Sun

The mother of a slain Columbia 3-year-old has been indicted on charges of child abuse and related counts stemming from what Howard County police allege was abuse of Elijah Izale LaJeuness that took place five months before his death.

Joaquinia Marie LaJeuness, 28, of the 5900 block of Stevens Forest Road was arrested in Meridian, Mich., and returned Saturday to Howard County, where she has been jailed in lieu of $25,000 bond, county police said. Elijah was 2 years old when the county Department of Social Services received a report on Nov. 3, 2010, that the boy had facial marks and bruising. Police and the DSS investigated, and police said Monday that there was not enough evidence at that time to charge anyone.

Police say the 2010 incident was not related to the child's death.

Last April 13, police responded to a report that Elijah, then 3, was not breathing. Police said an autopsy indicated that the child had been asphyxiated, and that the mother and her boyfriend were uncooperative in the death investigation, which is continuing.

Reisterstown lawyer Irwin R. Kramer, who represents the boy's father in a potential civil lawsuit, said he hoped there would be charges soon in the homicide, which he called an "unspeakable tragedy."

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