13-Yr-Old under Investigation for Death of Toddler

December 18, 2008 8:58:05 PM PST
A 13 year old Clovis teenager is under investigation after a two year old girl died in his care. Jennifer yang was injured last Thursday and was declared brain dead a day later.Clovis Police have questioned the boy. At this point, no arrests have been made. But police expect criminal charges will be filed.

"I don't mean it but it was an accident and I push her and hurt her head."

Through an interpreter, the teenager accused of fatally injuring a two year old explains what happened inside this Clovis apartment last Thursday. We are not showing his face because of his age.

"Jennifer was crying, following me and I told her to leave me alone because I'm playing a game and she kept following me and I sort of like push her and hurt herself."

The child was rushed to Children's Hospital Central California and declared brain dead Friday. Clovis police say the case is still weeks from being finished. It's been compounded by a language barrier, since the suspect is a Hmong refugee.

Janet Stoll-Lee of the Clovis Police Department said, "We have two officers that speak Hmong that have been helping with the case but it's just very complex in the nature of the case and the number of people who have been involved."

According to neighbors the child's mother was at work when her youngest child was injured. She left her three kids in the care of adult neighbors. The adults tell Action News they left the apartment to check on a sick relative. The children were left in the care of their teenage sons.

The 13 year old says he's scared and doesn't know what to think about what's happened.

The child's mother is devastated by the loss. Family friends say she has been working two jobs to support her family since her husband was sent to prison for domestic violence. She's spent the day trying to come up with enough money to bury her daughter.

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