INGLEWOOD, Calif.–A 2-year-old girl who had been staying with family members near Inglewood because her mother is behind bars may have died from physical injuries, the sheriff’s department reported today.
Erica Johnson, who lived in the unincorporated Westmont area, “died under suspicious circumstances,” according to the sheriff’s department and coroner.
Deputies went to a home in the 10600 block of Cimarron Street on Wednesday on a call that a child was not breathing, said sheriff’s Sgt. Diane Hecht of the Sheriff’s Headquarters Bureau.
She was declared dead at 11:15 p.m. Wednesday at Centinela Hospital Medical Center.
An autopsy is pending to determine the cause of death, said Assistant Chief Ed Winter of the coroner’s office.
“Although the cause of death is unknown, doctors noted she had suffered injuries that may prove to have contributed to the child’s death,” Hecht said.
“The toddler’s mother is currently incarcerated, and the child was left in the care of family members,” Hecht said. “Investigators are in the process of interviewing family members and others who were present at the home.”
Anyone with more information about the case was urged to call the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500 or (800) 222-TIPS.