Meka Ducheneaux

Prosecutor Tells Family Not To Read Autopsy Report As Abuser Is Sentenced to 30 Years for Death of Toddler

A North Dakota woman was sentenced Monday to 30 years in prison in the death of a 15-month-old girl in her care last year.

Meka Ducheneaux’s injuries were so horrific, Cass County State’s Attorney Ryan Younggren said, that he would not go over them in open court, and he told the little girl’s family not to read them as well, Valley News Live reported.

Family members had a inkling of Meka’s gruesome injuries, however: A GoFundMe set up for the girl said she “had been horribly abused, burned with chemicals, given alcohol, battered, and raped multiple ways. There are even more horrific details to the torture and murder that I don’t want the world to have to suffer knowing but my family and I keep replaying in our heads. These thoughts will scar us and Meka’s young cousins for the rest of our lives.”

Brandi Adeleke — a friend of Meka’s primary caregiver and aunt, Amanda Carillo — pleaded guilty in September to murder and child abuse.

As CrimeOnline previously reported, Carillo had agreed when Adeleke asked if Meka could have a Halloween sleepover last year at her apartment in Fargo. When the weekend was over, Carillo went to pick up the little girl, but Adeleke reported told her the apartment had been infected with COVID-19 and that the toddler needed to quarantine. Carillo agreed to let her stay a little longer, but a few weeks later, Adeleke told Carillo Meka was sick and in the hospital.

Carillo told police she rushed to the hospital and found social workers and police officers with the girl.

According to court documents, Adeleke called emergency responders on November 20, 2020, saying the toddler was struggling to breathe. The responders found her unresponsive, blue, and with suspicious bruising.

Adeleke told police she had given the child a bath to help with a fever and while she wasn’t looking, Meka slipped under water. Adeleke didn’t know how long she’d be there.

But the autopsy determined that the girl died from blunt force trauma and was a homicide. Younggren said in court on Monday that she had “substantial injuries” from head to toe.

“I usually say that metaphorically,” he said, “but not in this incident.”

Adeleke sobbed during the hearing, and when given a chance to speak said she “didn’t mean for this to happen. I’m just sorry,” Inforum reported.

Younggren and Amanda Carillo said the 30 year sentence came at the request of Meka’s father, Manny Carillo, who reportedly told prosecutors he believed Adeleke’s live is “still worth something and still worth saving.”

“He forgives her, but he will never forget,” Amanda Carillo said of her brother, who is serving time in prison on an unrelated case. “He was like, ‘Me giving her a life sentence isn’t going to bring my daughter back.’”

Amanda Carillo also said she struggles to forgive herself for allowing Adeleke to take the girl.

“I feel pain anytime I walk through the door because there’s something missing,” she said. “I feel pain when I hear my kids laugh because (Meka’s) laughter is missing.”

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[Feature Photo: Meka Ducheneaux /GoFundMe]