mother-arrested-in-child-abuse-death-of-4-year-old-daughter:-lapd

A mother was arrested on suspicion of child abuse after her 4-year-old daughter was hospitalized and died, Los Angeles police said Wednesday.

The girl arrived by ambulance at an L.A. hospital around 5:50 p.m. Wednesday and was pronounced dead within two hours, the L.A. Police Department said in a news release.

Hospital staff deemed her death suspicious, and officers from LAPD’s 77th Street police station — which patrols the Florence neighborhood of South L.A. — responded to investigate. The case was then handed to the department’s Abused Child Section, officials said.

The probe resulted in the girl’s mother, 34-year-old Akira Smith, being arrested on suspicion of child abuse resulting in death.

Inmate records show she was taken into custody around 2:30 a.m. Wednesday and booked on $1 million bail.

The victim’s three siblings were placed in the custody of the county Department of Children and Family Services, LAPD said.

Detectives are presenting the case to L.A. County prosecutors for consideration of charges.

LAPD was not releasing the child’s name, said Officer Mike Lopez, a department spokesperson.

County coroner’s records show a 4-year-old girl named Eternity Smith died at a hospital Tuesday. An exam in the case was pending, and no cause or manner of death had been assigned.

Coroner’s staff could not be reached Wednesday night to confirm the child’s identity.

Lopez said investigators were not releasing any further details on the case Wednesday.

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By Kelley Wheeler

Kelley Wheeler is a Metro reporter covering political issues and general assignments. A second-generation journalist, worked with all major news outlet, she holds a vast expeirience. Kelley is a graduate of USC with degrees in journalism and English literature. She is a recipient of Yale’s Poynter Fellowship in Journalism.

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