Police believe that a Louisiana mother who brought her young daughter to the emergency room saying the child had been injured in a car crash was lying about the accident. Now, she faces murder charges.
Jasmine Anderson brought her 5-year-old daughter Audrey Lynn Chelette to a local hospital on July 17, where she was declared dead upon arrival. Anderson told police she had been involved in a collision that caused severe injuries to her daughter's neck, but police found no evidence to suggest that was the case. Anderson was arrested and charged with second-degree murder five days later.
Officers believe that Anderson lied after investigating the scene where it had supposedly taken place and finding nothing at all. Injuries on the girl were not consistent with those that would have been caused in a car crash, authorities say.
Following an investigation, officers obtained a warrant for Anderson's arrest. She was apprehended in Bunkie, Louisiana on Tuesday.
Police Chief Jerrod King thanked the officers involved in the case in a news release on the Alexandria Police website.
“The wrongful death of a child is a horrible thing to see, and these men and women have maintained their professionalism and pursued the case with their customary diligence," said King.
The release of further information about the case, including the specific location of the supposed incident, is being withheld as the investigation is ongoing.
Audrey is the third person close to Anderson that has died prematurely, leaving family members with questions. Christopher Dawayne Chelette, Audrey's father, died in 2016, according to his obituary. His mother, Kendra Foster, said that the 20-year-old had hanged himself.
In April of 2019, Anderson's 4-year-old son died at the Rapides Regional Hospital after getting a bottle cap stuck in his throat.
Foster, who along with other family members suspect abuse, noted to NBC News that “[Anderson] was with them in their dying moments— all three of them— and none of them lived. ... I lived with her, I took care of her, and I don’t understand it myself."
A Louisiana Department of Children & Family Services spokeswoman told NBC News that the agency "cannot comment on or acknowledge the existence of a possible abuse or neglect investigation involving a child" due to state confidentiality restrictions.
Alexandria Police Department Cpl. Wade Bourgeois said that their offices would be "taking another look at our files from these deaths," but added that "it would be premature to say we are reopening the cases.”
Anderson's bond has been set at $500,000. The status of her legal representation is unclear.
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