A West Lampeter Township woman is charged with inflicting injuries that caused the May 20 death of a 2-year-old girl.
Investigators determined 36-year-old Angela M. Diaz had sole custody of the girl on May 16 when she sustained head injuries that, according to doctors, would have immediately incapacitated the child.
West Lampeter Township police Detective Steven Heinly on Monday afternoon charged Diaz with homicide and two felony counts of endangering a child. Assistant District Attorney Karen Mansfield approved the filing of charges.
District Judge William Benner arraigned Diaz, who was remanded to Lancaster County Prison without bail.
The child died at Hershey Medical Center, where she was transferred after initial treatment at Lancaster General Hospital.
The Dauphin County Coroner’s Office concluded the child sustained debilitating head and spinal injuries and also suffered from malnutrition and starvation. The death was ruled a homicide.
Police allege the child became malnourished since being in Diaz’s care since January 2017.
Diaz did not have legal custody of the child, but was caregiver by agreement with the child’s mother and father, who were in hardship and relocated their daughter to Diaz’s home on Hollinger Road.
Diaz lived at that home with her husband and children. The husband was often away on business and was not home at all on May 16, when the fatal injuries were inflicted.
Other children in the home told police Diaz had sole custody in a room with the 2-year-old when she went limp and unresponsive.
Regarding the 2-year-old child’s malnourishment, the child’s mother told police the girl had become much skinnier – her hip bones and ribs becoming visible – since Diaz took over as caregiver.
The investigation is ongoing.
Diaz is presumed innocent.
MEDIA CONTACT: Brett A. Hambright, 717-295-2041; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @BrettHambright