South Dakota woman facing murder charges in death of her daughter
WAGNER, S.D. — A Wagner woman is being charged with second-degree murder following the death of her 3-year-old daughter.
According to court documents, Amanda Hernandez called 911 last Wednesday and reported that she had found her child unresponsive.
Law enforcement arrived at the scene and found the girl in a bedroom on the bottom bed of a bunk bed. They were unable to locate a pulse and advised that it was evident she was deceased. They noted obvious signs of trauma to her body, including significant bruising on her face and the right side of her abdomen.
Officials say Hernandez told them that her daughter had fallen from the top of the bunk bed two days prior, which was the reason for the bruising on her face. According to Hernandez, her daughter was acting normally after the fall, and so she never took her to the hospital.
Court documents indicate that Hernandez went drinking on Tuesday evening and didn’t return home until 10 a.m. the next day. According to a statement to police, Hernandez said after she arrived home her daughter woke her up and was ‘whining.’ Hernandez told her to go back to bed.
Hernandez said she woke up later in the afternoon and checked on her daughter because she thought it was odd she hadn’t come out of her bedroom yet. At that point, she found her unresponsive and cold to the touch.
A friend who went out the night before with Hernandez and returned with her the next morning told authorities that at one point Hernandez got up from the couch they were sleeping on because her daughter was fussing in her room. He says he recalls her going into the room and heard her yelling at the girl.
An autopsy was later conducted and it was determined that the girl’s death was caused by injuries resulting from abuse, including internal injuries, as well as head trauma. She also had a fractured left femur.
Her death was ruled a homicide by the coroner. Hernandez was later arrested and is currently being held in the Charles Mix County jail, KDLT reports.