A 3-year-old girl who died Tuesday after a savage beating had likely endured long-term physical abuse, according to King County prosecutors. The girl’s mother and the mother’s boyfriend were both jailed this week in connection with the child’s death.
Tatiana Baker and her boyfriend, DeMarco Jackson, waited more than seven hours before summoning help for Baker’s 3-year-old daughter, who was already dead from a savage beating by the time medics arrived at their Auburn apartment Tuesday night, according to King County prosecutors.
Baker — arrested late Tuesday and initially held on investigation of domestic-violence homicide — was charged Friday with first-degree criminal mistreatment. The 21-year-old remains jailed in lieu of $1 million bail.
Jackson, 24, was arrested Thursday night and made his first court appearance Friday, when a King County District Court judge found probable cause to hold him on investigation of domestic-violence homicide. He, too, is being held in lieu of $1 million bail. He is expected to be formally charged next week.
Jackson is not the father of the 3-year-old, but is the father of Baker’s 2-month-old daughter, who is now in the care of Child Protective Services, charging papers say.
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The 3-year-old, who is referred to in charging documents by her initials, N.B., has not yet been identified by the King County Medical Examiner’s Office.
According to charging documents in Tatiana Baker’s case, a man called 911 just before 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, telling a dispatcher the 3-year-old was dehydrated and vomiting. He gave the operator an address in Seattle, though the 911 computer system showed his cellphone was pinging off a cell tower in Auburn, the charges say. The phone call was disconnected, and when the operator called back, a woman told the dispatcher aid was not needed, charging papers say. Auburn police and medics responded to an address on 28th Street Southeast but couldn’t find the 911 caller.
A second 911 call was made from the same cellphone at 9:45 p.m., and Jackson stated he was performing CPR on the girl, the charges say. Medics arrived at their apartment complex at 420 23rd St. S.E. and quickly determined the girl “was deceased, possibly for some time, since postmortem lividity was observed and her body was cold to the touch,” say the charges.
Auburn police say Baker beat the girl with a belt and her fists to discipline her, and when the girl “didn’t respond like Tatiana felt she should,” Jackson suspended the girl by one arm and repeatedly punched her in the stomach until she went limp and lost consciousness, charging papers say.
Investigators performed an autopsy and found the 3-year-old had significant bruising all over her body, as well as a variety of fractures to her ribs, arm, wrist, pelvis and collarbone, the papers say.
While some of her bones had been broken recently, “others were at varying stages of healing, suggesting a long pattern of physical abuse,” charging papers say.
Instead of seeking medical attention for the girl after allegedly beating her, Baker and Jackson “cleaned the crime scene, disposed of evidence and intentionally misled police and fire/medics to save their own hides,” Senior Deputy Prosecutor Wyman Yip wrote in charging documents.