An 18-year-old woman who had her battered toddler taken away by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services last year was charged with child endangerment after she allegedly beat the girl so badly for not eating her noodles, she died over Thanksgiving weekend, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.
After Jazmine Jones punched Elliana Claiborne four to five times in the stomach and buttocks on Nov. 28, she left her boyfriend’s Englewood house to buy weed, Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Przekota said at Jones’ bond hearing on Wednesday.
The punches to 2-year-old Elliana’s body were so forceful, Jones’ boyfriend–who was playing video games at the time–said the blows would have “knocked the wind” out of him, Przekota said.
Jones has had many prior contacts with DCFS, according to prosecutors. Last year Elliana was taken into DCFS custody after Jones threw her off a balcony, causing her to land on the snowy cement ground below, Przekota said.
Jones, who admitted to detectives that she hit Elliana because she was crying and not eating, was the only one in the house to use corporal punishment against her child, Przekota said.
Often, depending how frustrated she was, Jones would punch the girl, prosecutors said.
DCFS officials were not available for immediate comment.
Jones’ boyfriend is not the baby’s father. Jones and Elliana lived with Jones’ boyfriend’s family at the home, in the 6500 block of South Sangamon, Przekota said.
Last weekend, when Jones returned to her boyfriend’s home after buying pot, she gave Elliana laxatives and juice, because the child appeared sick, couldn’t use the bathroom, had a swollen stomach and complained about stomach pain, Przekota said.
Later that evening, Jones’ boyfriend’s mom asked him to check on Elliana because it sounded as if she took a tumble down the stairs, Przekota said.
The boyfriend found the girl at the bottom of stairs and saw that she was laughing. Still, he told Jones about the possible fall, Przekota said. Jones’ boyfriend’s mother also told Jones that she should take Elliana to the hospital. Jones didn’t listen, Przekota said.
That night, Jones’ boyfriend took Elliana to his sister’s bedroom to sleep. In the middle of the night, Elliana moaned about her stomach and threw up a greenish liquid, Przekota said.
Jones’ boyfriend’s sister put Elliana back to bed but noticed that the child was lying with her eyes opened, Przekota said. The girl later changed Elliana’s diaper and said it appeared as if she was still awake.
The next morning, the sister didn’t wake Elliana up right away, because she thought she was sleeping, Przekota said. But the sister returned to the room at 8 a.m. believing Elliana needed a diaper change, given the strong smell of feces, Przekota said. When she picked Elliana up, she saw that the girl, who had soiled herself, was “cold and stiff,” Przekota said. Elliana’s eyes were opened.
The sister went to tell her mother and Jones’ boyfriend, who tried to perform CPR on Elliana, Przekota said. A yellowish liquid came out of the girl’s mouth.
Jones’ boyfriend’s mother realized the girl was cold and stiff and didn’t have a pulse. Concerned, Jones’ boyfriend yelled out to Jones, who was in her bedroom and the baby was taken to St. Bernard Hospital, Przekota said.
Elliana was dead on arrival. Her body temperature was 84 degrees and she was in full rigor mortis, Przekota said.
Elliana died of multiple blunt force trauma, specifically injuries caused by a direct blow to the abdomen, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Authorities noted the deep injuries in Elliana’s abdomen were not caused by a fall down the stairs or an accident, Przekota said.
Elliana also suffered bruises on her head, abdomen, face, back and arms. She had healing burns on her foot, healed scars and two rib fractures.
Judge Laura Sullivan ordered Jones held in lieu of $1 million bail.