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HomeNewsArchives3-YEAR-OLD'S DEATH LINKED TO CHILD ABUSE

3-YEAR-OLD'S DEATH LINKED TO CHILD ABUSE

May 15, 2002 – A 3-year-old girl who was dead on arrival at Roy L. Schneider Hospital on Friday is now the subject of a homicide investigation that is believed to be related to child abuse.
Melea Pownell, who was 3 years and 7 months old, died of blunt force trauma which caused a severe head injury, according to the V.I. medical examiner, Dr. Francisco Landron, who performed an autopsy on the body on Tuesday.
Landron told Radio One that several fractures were evident as he began the autopsy procedure.
When the child's parents arrived at the hospital on Friday with her body, they said she had a history of sickle-cell disease.
Evidence of child abuse was reportedly prevalent, hospital officials confirmed. Landron said he was told by other hospital officials that the child's caregiver had called on the victim's mother to seek medical attention for the girl on Friday. Landron estimated that the child had died shortly before the body was taken to the hospital.
An investigation is under way by the Police Department's Major Crime Unit on St. Thomas. There has been no comment from police authorities on the case.

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