OPELIKA, Ala. (WRBL) – Court documents have uncovered disturbing details in the arrest of an Opelika mother and her live-in boyfriend for the murder of her 2-year-old girl. A deposition in the case filed on Nov. 16, 2021, indicates the toddler suffered blunt force trauma. The report states the child suffered a broken left and right collarbone, a broken left rib, fractured skull, and brain bleed. Forensic medical examiners indicated the severity of the injuries meant they were recent and not accidental.
The investigation began Friday, Nov. 12, 2021, at 7 a.m. with a 911 call from a home along Cherry Circle in Opelika. Paramedics found the 2-year-old little girl deceased in a back bedroom. The child was sent for an autopsy with the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences in Montgomery.
Opelika Police Chief Shane Healey tells News 3 the preliminary autopsy returned Friday afternoon, indicating the manner of death was a homicide, and the preliminary cause of death was blunt force trauma.
“We were able to determine the people with the child leading up to her death were the child’s mother and a male acquaintance,” said Chief Healey.
The child’s mother, Chasity Baker, 28, and her live-in boyfriend, Jamario Mitchell, 28, were arrested Monday, Nov. 15, 2021. They are charged with the child’s murder. Police say Baker’s oldest child lives with a family member and was not inside the home. The police department declined to comment on if there had been other reports of suspected child abuse inside the house.
According to court documents, Baker and Mitchell told police the 2-year-old was sick, and they checked on her throughout the night. The couple stated while they were the only two who had access to the child, and they did not know how she was injured.
“It’s a horrific incident, a 2-year-old is defenseless, and it’s just unfathomable that this could happen to a 2-year-old,” said Chief Healey.
Baker and Mitchell remain behind bars at the Lee County Detention Facility on a $450,000 bond. Both are expected to have their first court appearance Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the case remains under investigation by the Opelika Police Department. If you have any information, please contact the Detective Division at (334) 705-5220 or the Secret Witness Hotline at (334) 745-8665. Tips can be submitted through the Opelika Police Mobile App. You can remain anonymous.