Police: Mom and boyfriend charged in infant's death - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Police: Mom and boyfriend charged in infant's death

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LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB)--Metro Police say the death of a 6-month old girl was no accident--it was murder.  The child's mother and her boyfriend are now in custody.  Investigators suspected the two from the beginning, but had to wait for enough evidence to prove them right.

Whitney Phillips and James McElroy are accused of beating 6-month old Ariah Phillips to death.

"I can say that she sustained multiple injuries," says Sgt. Donny Burbrink III, with LMPD's Cold Case Homicide Unit.

Police say the couple killed the 6-month old girl in February of 2011, however, it has taken two years to prove they committed the crime.

Sgt. Burbrink says, "We go through a lot more with the baby deaths because of the age and because of they haven't developed all the way."

Burbrink says there was a lot they had to rule out before charging the couple.  "So we have to go through all the different types of autopsies and through the different medical reports and making sure this didn't cause it or these injuries were caused by something else other than abuse."

Police say the evidence shows the couple beat the child to death inside their home on Vermont and then rushed her to Kosair Hospital where she later died.

"In a case like that, it's hard not to at least look at the family first," says Burbrink.

Police say that's mainly because child protective services had been called to the home before.

"I don't have an exact number, I know that CPS was involved with looking at Ms. Phillips."

According to a three page grand jury indictment obtained by WDRB News, Phillips is accused of abusing the child over course of six months, and police say that's why the case never went away and the two are in jail.

"It was never a case that was off the books, it was always on somebody's desk and somebody was always working that case and yes, things came to light and reports came to use that we didn't previously have," says Burbrink.

Phillips and McElroy are charged with complicity to commit murder.  Phillips is also charged with three counts of criminal abuse.

 

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