Woman charged with murder in death of 3-year-old that had been placed in her care
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: The Department of Human Services placed 3-year-old Hope Jones in the custody of Kiana Casey.
On Wednesday, July 20, 30-year-old Casey was arraigned on charges of third-degree murder, aggravated assault, endangering the welfare of a child, intimidation, tampering with or fabricating evidence, and false reporting.
Casey is reported to have turned herself in to law enforcement on Tuesday following a medical examiner's finding that Hope had died from blunt force trauma.
Her bail was set at $2 million.
Her preliminary hearing has been scheduled for August 8 at 9:00 am before Judge Karen Y. Simmons.
On Tuesday, July 12 first responders rushed Hope to the hospital following a 911 call at about 4:15 pm. At 4:51 pm, Hope was pronounced deceased.
Jane Roh, spokeswoman for the District Attorney's Office called the injuries "extensive and disturbing," but did not disclose further information due to the ongoing nature of the investigation.
Likewise, a spokesperson for the Department of Human Services provided limited information in their statement saying, that Hope was receiving "kinship care/foster care services" at the time and that DHS is "incredibly saddened to learn of the death of this child, We offer our sincere condolences to the family on this tragic loss."
No further information was released in order "to maintain the confidentiality of the family involved and to preserve the integrity of the investigation."
Citing an unnamed law enforcement source, KYW News Radio is claiming that DHS had visited the home just an hour before Hope died.
Casey's attorney, Coley Reynolds, echoing that claim said it was evidence that nothing was found to be amiss in the home saying, "Obviously they didn't see any injuries to the child, or they would have done something at that time."
When questioned about his client's explanation, Reynolds told the media, "It's a little early for me to get into what her version of the event is. That's going to come out in due course. We're going to have a preliminary hearing, obviously. The first goal is to get her out on bail, get her reunited with her family."
Reynolds stated that DHS had taken custody of Casey's children.
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