Michigan Babysitter Charged With Murder In Toddler's Death

close up of Kimora Launmei Hodges
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News & Politics
Jessica Powers

A Michigan babysitter is behind bars after allegedly murdering a 23-month-old boy left in her care.

TV Station WDIV-TV reports 21-year-old Kimora Launmei Hodges was watching the young boy at his Roseville, Mich., apartment on June 13 while his mother was at work when Hodges allegedly harmed the child. Hodges had babysat the boy on and off for the past two months.

Hodges Claimed The Child Had An Allergic Reaction

The young victim.
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Hodges reportedly called the boy's mother, 18-year-old Taylor Starks, to tell her he did not appear normal after ingesting soap and that she thought he needed medical attention. Hodges said the boy was having an allergic reaction to the soap, police said.

Doctors later confirmed the child had been physically assaulted.

The Boy Reportedly Had Trauma To His Head

The mother called 911.
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Starks told news station WJBK-TV reports that she called 911 and rushed home.

"Once I made it there, my baby was on the ground having seizure, after seizure, after seizure," she told the station.

The boy was transported to the hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery.

"He had blunt force trauma to the head, and he was bleeding out his ears and had to have immediate brain surgery," Starks said. "All I know is she threw my son into the wall and shook him up pretty bad, and they said that's just a bit of what she did to him."

The Mother Urged Others To Trust Their Guts

The young boy's mother says she was mislead.
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Taylor Starks created a GoFundMe campaign to help cover her son's funeral expenses and has so far raised over $70,000.

On the page, Starks said she trusted Hodges and never believed the woman would harm her young son.

"I’ve always been self conscious of who keeps my son just because this was my biggest fear ever and it’s coming true," she wrote. "Please young moms go with your first gut and don’t be so easily with trusting people with your child. Cherish your babies with everything in you because I’m losing my whole entire world right now and I don’t wish this pain on anyone. I just hope Kyrie that you will be able to forgive me son mommy love you sooo much."

Hodges Now Remains Behind Bars

She is being held in jail.
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Hodges' initial charge of first-degree child abuse has now been upgraded to felony murder. Hodges is currently being held at the Macomb County Jail without bond and has not yet entered a plea to the charge.

She is scheduled to appear in court on June 29.

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