An 8-month-old baby girl died Saturday evening in Brookhaven, Georgia, from wounds sustained from suspected child abuse.
The infant, Kamoni Love Whitehead, was initially discovered unconscious and not breathing on August 1, but was taken to Children’s Hospital at Egleston, where she remained until her death on Saturday night.
Shavone Whitehead, 24, the mother of the baby, and her boyfriend, and Edward Wilson, 33, have both been taken into custody in connection with the child’s abuse. Because of the infant’s death, new charges will be added to Whitehead’s and Wilson’s case. The couple have both denied their involvement in the infant’s death.
According to NBC’s Atlanta affiliate, 11 Alive, police reported that when they initially responded to the scene that the baby was unresponsive and exhibited wounds and bruising consistent with child abuse. Although the infant survived after the attack, she never regained consciousness during her time at the Georgia hospital.
The baby girl’s father broke the news to the media on Sunday morning, triggering another wave of sadness in a summer fraught with infant mortality.
Instances of infant death have been occurring all over the country. This includes instances of murder, to negligence, and accidental death. In August, 27 infants had died had died from being left in hot cars. That number has doubled since June of last year, and is only expected in increase as the summer goes on.
On the same day as the father of the 8-month-old baby girl delivered the news of her passing, a 21-year-old Minneapolis man was arrested in connection with the murder of his 4-month-old baby girl.
In 2014, USA Today conducted an investigative report that showed, on average, 450 children a year are killed by their parents. According to more than three decades of FBI homicide investigations, data shows that out of the child victims, three out of four are under the age of five, and at least a quarter of children murdered by their parents are under 1-year-old.
Statistics show that fathers or male father figures are 75 percent more likely to kill a child than women. In the instances where the father is the murderer, they will often shoot, beat or stab the child. The victims usually fall within the “under five years old” category, but men appear more sporadic in their victims.
When mothers kill their children, they usually only commit the act if the child is under one year old. This seems to be the pattern with the tragic murder of the Brookhaven baby girl that recently passed away.
Parents that murder their children is both fascinating and sickening to the population at large. Every year, there is a story about a father purposefully leaving his children in a hot car, a mother killing her kids due to postpartum depression, or the rampant abuse that accidentally turns into murder for some parents.
Babies are some of the most susceptible victims in a family, for obvious reasons. They have no means by which to defend themselves and they are at the mercy of their parents, guardians, relatives, and sometimes even their older siblings. It was less than a year ago that another baby girl was placed in an oven and burned to death by her 5-year-old sibling while her mother was out with her boyfriend.
As of 2013, infant homicide rates had fallen two percent from 9.2 percent in 2000. However, to the casual observer, an instance of infant death is still heartbreaking and troubling.
Although the death of the 8-month-old Brookhaven baby girl is a tragedy, her murderers have been detained and hopefully justice will prevent the couple from doing harm to another baby girl, child, or person in their lives.