Police arrested a mother and her acquaintance on murder charges related to child abuse and neglect after an investigation revealed numerous severe injuries following the death of her toddler.
On June 24, Memphis first responders responded to a "sick party" call at 2894 Shady Vista in the Ridgecrest Apartments complex. When they arrived, they found 23-month-old Amelia Taper unresponsive and the male acquaintance, Gregory Ford, performing CPR on the child.
Paramedics took the toddler to LeBonheur Hospital in critical condition, where she was later pronounced dead. Medics found the toddler with numerous bruises on her face and body, and sent her to the West Tennessee Regional Forensic Center for autopsy.
The autopsy revealed numerous internal injuries as well as rib fractures and suspicions of punches or kicks.
WBIR 10News' sister station in Memphis WMC Action News 5 obtained the responding officer's affidavit, which would determine if the mother, Keinosha Taper, or Ford would be arrested in the toddler's death.
In the document, Memphis police officer Charles Lowrie said the mother had admitted to throwing the child against her pen after she began vomiting. The mother said before that she had also fallen on the toddler when Ford pushed her during a fight, causing the child to vomit.
The mother said she noticed the child looked hurt and lethargic, but did not seek medical treatment before the child died the next day.
The officer said Taper's and Ford's statements were inconsistent on the events leading to the child's death.
Authorities charged both the mother and Ford with aggravated child abuse, aggravated child neglect, first-degree murder in perpetration of aggravated child abuse and first-degree murder in perpetration of aggravated child neglect.