Whitman woman charged in connection with death of her 2-year-old daughter

BROCKTON, MASS. (WHDH) - A 29-year-old woman has been arraigned on a criminal charge in connection with the death of her 2-year-old daughter, Lyric, who died after being found unresponsive at a home in Whitman last month, officials said.

Shaniqua Leonard, 29, of Whitman was arrested in Boston Thursday in connection with the Dec. 28 death of her toddler, who was found unresponsive at 863 Washington St. and later died at Boston Children’s Hospital, according to Plymouth District Attorney Tim Cruz.

According to court documents, the mother and the other children in the home told investigators Lyric had been acting strange recently — hitting her head against the floor and ripping out clumps of hair.

Investigators uncovered several videos on Leonard’s phone that show the young girl staring off into the distance, unable to stand or maintain balance and hitting her head as she falls to the ground.

The document say that Leonard can be heard laughing at her daughter in the recordings.

Investigators claim Lyric was clearly in medical distress and that “Shaniqua Leonard’s failure to adequately care for and seek medical attention for Lyric Farrell caused her medical condition to deteriorate and ultimately led to her death.”

The State Office of the Chief Medical Examiner performed an autopsy and will determine the manner and cause of the child’s death.

This is a developing news story; stay with 7NEWS on-air and online for the latest details.

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