Child abuse charges have been filed against a Maryland man and woman following the tragic death of a young girl earlier this month, NBC Washington reports.
On August 18, 5-year-old Pradeline Delinois was found unresponsive in the Capitol Heights suburb of Washington, D.C., and was rushed to an area hospital, where she was later pronounced dead.
Authorities determined that the girl’s injuries were caused by blunt force trauma while under the care of her father, 44-year-old Pradel Delinois, and stepmother, 42-year-old Ornelie Charles.
Prince George’s County Police said Friday that Pradel Delinois and Charles have been arrested in connection with the girl’s death, which has been classified as a homicide.
Charles has been charged with assault, child abuse resulting in death, and neglect of a minor; Pradel Delinois is facing charges of child abuse resulting in death and neglect of a minor, according to FOX 5.
The girl was significantly underweight and was wearing a soiled diaper at the time she arrived at the hospital, and a scratch was also visible above her left eye, The Washington Post reports, citing court records.
An autopsy found that Pradeline had suffered extensive injuries that included fractured ribs and bruises all over her body.
The parents told investigators that they didn’t know how the girl became injured. Charles acknowledged being the girl’s principal caregiver, in addition to caring for two other kids at the residence.
Another child who was living in the home reported to investigators that Charles struck the victim within days of her death and had hit the girl previously, according to the Post.
Father and stepmother charged in connection with the death of 5-year-old Pradeline Delinois. The suspects are identified as 44-year-old Pradel Delinois and 42-year-old Ornelie Charles.https://t.co/UosZHUN53a pic.twitter.com/471Eu9QQo9
— PGPDNEWS (@PGPDNews) August 26, 2022
Child welfare authorities took custody of the two other kids and removed them from the home.
A photo by the television station obtained from the family shows Pradeline celebrating her fifth birthday while wearing a gown, tiara and sash.
“It is absolutely heartbreaking for us to see something like this occur. This type of tragedy is unacceptable,” Cpl. Antonia Washington told WRC-TV.
Pradel Delinois and Charles are scheduled to appear in court in September.
To report information about the case, call Prince George’s County Police at 301-516-2512.
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[Featured image: Pradeline Delinois/Handout]