SURGOINSVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Family and friends of an East Tennessee girl who died in 2012 after police say she was forced to drink grape soda are collecting donations to purchase a headstone for her.
The Kingsport Times News reports the half-sisters of 5-year-old Alexa Linboom, their mother and a former teacher are collecting contributions. The child's grave is now marked with a printed piece of paper in a plastic case.
The girl's father and stepmother, Randall and Mary Vaughn, were charged with murder, abuse and neglect in her death. Authorities say the Hawkins County couple forced her to drink about 2.4 liters of soda and water over a one- to two-hour span as a punishment. The massive liquid intake caused her brain to swell and herniate.