Eleven-year-old girl charged with child abuse over death of baby left in her care

Peter Stubley

An 11-year-old girl has been charged with first-degree child abuse of a one-year-old boy who died after suffering serious injuries in her care.

The girl, who is not related to the victim, was left babysitting Paxton Davis at her home in Maryland near Washington DC while her mother went out on an errand.

Her family members called 911 after returning home to find the baby unresponsive.

Paxton was taken to hospital with severe injuries to his upper body and died four days later, on Thursday 28 February.

The girl was arrested following his death and admitted the assault, according to Prince George’s County Police.

Major Brian Reilly, commander of the criminal investigation division, told a press conference the motive remains under investigation.

“I don’t know what motive there would be in a situation like this for an 11-year-old to intentionally inflict injuries on a one-year-old,” he said.

“There are no words. There is no reason for this to take place.”

Major Reilly said the two families were friends and Paxton was left there in the care of the girl’s mother on the previous Saturday. The girl had not looked after the baby before.

“It was an innocent friendly agreement that turned absolutely tragic,” he said.

“There was a short time where the 11-year-old was left in the house where there was no parental supervision.”

Police were alerted by medical staff at 3.25pm following the baby’s arrival at hospital.

“When hospital staff took a look at our one-year-old victim, they immediately called child abuse detectives due to the severity of his injuries,” said Major Reilly.

“It was clear from the beginning that the injuries Paxton suffered were not consistent with the normal play of a one-year-old.”

Police said that they would consult with the Prince George’s County state’s attorney’s office to determine any further charges in the case.