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Woman Accused Of Strangling, Killing Boyfriend's 1-Year-Old Daughter

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CLAIRTON (KDKA) -- A woman is accused of strangling and killing her boyfriend's 1-year-old daughter.

According to a criminal complaint, the victim, 23-month-old Aubree Sherrell, died on April 27. She was taken to Jefferson Hospital just after 4 p.m. after her father's girlfriend, 21-year-old Deasha Ringgold, found the child not breathing at her Clairton apartment.

Aubree was then flown to UPMC Children's Hospital where she was pronounced dead just before 10:30 p.m.

The Allegheny County medical examiner's office contacted the Allegheny County Police Homicide Unit to continue the investigation into the child's death, saying a forensic pathologist was concerned about bruising around Aubree's neck area.

deasha ringgold
Deasha Ringgold (Photo Credit: Allegheny County)

When police interviewed Ringgold, she told them she put Aubree down on the floor on top of a blanket after the child's father left for work around 3 p.m. Ringgold then went back to bed and fell asleep. She said woke up some time later and found Aubree lying on her back on the floor and her lips were blue.

Ringgold told police she then went into the living room and told her brother to drive her to the hospital. She said she didn't call 911 because she thought it would be quicker to drive.

A criminal complaint says detectives received permission to download data from Ringgold's cell phone.

From the data, they found Ringgold did a Google search for "how to wake up a knocked out person" at 2:57 p.m., "she's not breathing what do I do" at 3:04 p.m. and "how to do cpr on a baby" at 3:27 p.m.

She then visited a web page titled "CPR Instructions For Infants and Small Children" at 3:28 p.m. and later searched "how to do cpr on a baby" again at 3:47 p.m.

Ringgold's brother told police he was staying at his sister's apartment. He said he left around 9:20 a.m. and when he returned around 4 p.m., the door to the apartment was locked, which he thought was odd. Ringgold's brother told police that when his sister answered the door, she didn't appear "distraught" and after letting him in, she went into the bedroom.

A short time later, she came out of the bedroom holding Aubree and told him the child had stopped breathing. Ringgold's brother told police Aubree was blue. He said he and his sister rushed to his car to drive Aubree to the hospital and he told Ringgold to perform CPR on the child.

Police say the Google searches on Ringgold's phone do not substantiate Ringgold taking Aubree to the hospital immediately.

On Aug. 10, the Allegheny County medical examiner's office ruled the cause of Aubree's death was strangulation and the manner was homicide.

As a result, Ringgold is being charged with criminal homicide and endangering the welfare of children.

Ringgold's grandmother, who didn't want to be identified, she says she's sure her granddaughter is innocent.

Grandmother: "They're wrong! Simple as that."
KDKA-TV's David Highfield: "Tell me why. You don't think she could--"
Grandmother: "Because she loved that baby, that's why. She raised that baby."
KDKA-TV's David Highfield: "There's no way that you think she would have harmed--"
Grandmother: "Hell no! She spent more time with that baby up there than she did her own."

Ringgold's grandmother has custody of Ringgold's 5-year-old daughter.

"She was young so something happened and she panicked or whatever happened. I don't know. I wasn't up there. Simple as that. But I know my grandbaby ain't did nothing to that baby," Ringgold's grandmother said.

Ringgold turned herself in to police Monday afternoon.

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