Mom charged with murder after taking dead daughter, 5, to the ER and claiming she was in car crash
ALEXANDRIA, La. - A Louisiana woman has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of her 5-year-old daughter on July 17, according to the Alexandria Police Department.
On the afternoon of July 17, Jasmine Anderson, 24, brought her daughter, Audrey Lynn Chelette, to a local emergency room, claiming that the girl had sustained a neck injury from a car crash, according to police.
Doctors determined that the girl was dead upon arrival, and detectives and crime scene investigators were called to the scene to begin an investigation into her death.
The police report stated that the girl's injuries "did not seem consistent with what would occur during a crash." An autopsy later confirmed that the injury to the child's neck was the cause of death.
Officers spent several hours searching for the the location where Anderson said that the accident had occurred, but they were unable to find any evidence that a crash had actually transpired.
The next day around 4 p.m., officers discovered the location where the alleged incident had occurred, but the evidence found on scene indicated that the incident was not a car crash like Anderson had described, and investigators were called to continue their investigation.
On July 23, after five more days of investigation, the police obtained a warrant for Anderson's arrest for second-degree murder. Detectives were able to locate Anderson that day in the nearby town of Bunkie, and she was brought to Avoyelles Parish Detention Center, where she was booked.
Anderson was interviewed by police investigators before being transported to Rapides Parish Detention Center, where she had been booked twice before -- once in 2014 after being charged as a fugitive and then in 2015 after being charged with failure to pay fines. Anderson's bail was posted at $500,000.
Anderson's daughter, Audrey Lynn Chelette, was preceded in death by her father, Christopher Dawayne Chelette, who died at the age of 20 on Feb. 20, 2016, and her 4-year-old brother, Christopher "CJ" Dawayne Chelette, who died on April 25, 2019.
DeAnna Robertson, who is engaged to Audrey Lynn Chelette's paternal grandmother, created a GoFundMe to cover additional burial costs for Audrey as well as memorial expenses for her, her brother and her father.
On Thursday morning, Anderson attempted to hang herself in her jail cell, according to Rapides Parish Sheriff William Earl Hilton. She was found by jail staff, Hilton said. The jail's medical staff performed CPR until Anderson was breathing on her own again, and then she was transported to the Rapides Regional Medical Center, where she was admitted to the ICU.
Now, discoveries from Anderson's past run-ins with law enforcement have raised questions.
Kendra Foster, Audrey's grandmother, told NBC News that Anderson had been with both Christopher Dawayne Chelette Sr. and Christopher Dawayne Chelette Jr. at the time of their deaths. She said that investigators determined Chelette Sr. had hung himself and that Chelette Jr. had choked on a bottle cap, and that in both cases, "she's (Anderson) the one who found him." She said that when she arrived at the hospital after Audrey's death, doctors told her that Audrey had a four-inch slit on her throat and no other injuries or marks.
Foster's fiance, DeAnna Robertson, told the Alexandria Town Talk, "These kids needed help, and we reached out to everyone we could. We tried to get custody of those babies and wasn't allowed to. CPS (Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services) failed my babies."
This story was reported from Los Angeles.