Megan Martzen Charged in Death of Reedley Toddler

FRESNO, Calif.

Reedley's chief of police tells Action News why detectives needed an extra medical opinion to finally make an arrest.

Action News obtained a copy of the complaint filed by Reedley detectives Tuesday.

In it, 19-year-old /*Megan Martzen*/ told investigators 17-month-old /*Ella Vanleeuwen*/ sustained her injuries during a fall from her bed to the carpet. But forensic experts say the infant's injuries were not consistent with Martzen's story.

Reedley Police Chief Steve Wright said, "The district attorney's office and coroner's office requested a second forensic opinion, just to make sure all the decisions that were made were correct."

That second request took more than a year, but Reedley Police Chief Steve Wright says it was worth the wait.

"Everybody who looked at this case from a forensic point of view had to make a determination that certain injuries or certain forensic evidence told a certain story," said Chief Wright.

An autopsy report shows Vanleeuwen died of "blunt force trauma" to the head including a fractured skull. Also listed were four broken ribs and injuries to the abdomen.

Detectives had trouble completing their investigation because Vanleeuwen was too young to tell them what happened.

Chief Wright said, "Even though she lived a few days after the actual incident. She was not able to give any statement on what occurred."

Investigators say their attempts to follow up with Martzen failed because her attorney told her not to answer any more questions.

Martzen remains the only suspect in this case. Her bond sits at two-million dollars.

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