27 Jul

A two-year-old girl died at Gaston Memorial Hospital Thursday night. The toddler was left in the care of a registered sex offender while her mother went to work at a local Bessemer City café.

Witnesses at the scene of the America’s Best Inn motel, where the mother, child and her boyfriend lived, said that the child looked badly bruised and beaten and may have been the victim of domestic violence. The mother was summoned to the hospital after learning her daughter was in grave condition.

No one has been charged in connection with the child’s death yet, but police officers are continuing their investigation. They’re call the little girl’s death suspicious. Law enforcement officers are also awaiting the medical examiner’s report on the child’s cause of death.

The mother’s boyfriend was a convicted sex offender. While the mother said she felt that her boyfriend had changed his ways, he was convicted of sex crimes as recently as 2010. In December 2010, the man was convicted of sexual battery and in January 2010 the man was convicted of indecent liberties with a child.

The man was arrested after the incident for failure to report a change of address and babysitting a child as a sex offender. He is not currently facing charges related to the little girl’s suspicious death while he was watching her.

Source: Gaston Gazette, “Toddler dead, mom admits to leaving child with sex offender boyfriend,” 7/22/11, Wade Allen