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UPDATED: Tacoma mother charged in son’s death

Post by Stacey Mulick / The News Tribune on April 2, 2012 at 6:50 am |
April 2, 2012 2:32 pm

UPDATED at 2:10 p.m.

During her court appearance today, Aleesha Walker, the woman accused of killing her son, was ordered to undergo a mental evaluation. Walker did not enter a plea. Her arraignment has been postponed for two weeks.

Walker, 28, will remain in custody, with no bail assigned.

UPDATED at 12:27 p.m.

Pierce County prosecutors have charged a Tacoma mother with first-degree murder in the death of her 2-year-old son.

Aleesha Walker, 28, is expected to make her first court appearance this afternoon in Pierce County Superior Court.

The 28-year-old woman was arrested Friday after she called police to report she’d killed her son, Noah Sanford.

She told a 911 operator that she’d hit Noah’s head on a dresser. She also made references to smothering him, according to a press release from the Prosecutor’s Office.

“She reported hearing voices and said she acted, at least in part, as directed by those voices,” the press release stated.

Tacoma police found Noah’s lifeless body about 7 a.m. inside Walker”s apartment in the 3600 block of South Thompson Avenue. He was naked and had dried blood spots on his face.

Walker, who had dried blood on her hands and knees, reportedly told the officers, “God knows what I did … I’m bad for doing what I did, I did it to the baby, he’s gone.”

Noah was taken to Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

A neighbor told officers he woke up about 6 a.m. after hearing a thud on the floor of Walker’s apartment.

An autopsy revealed that Noah’s head injuries were not fatal. The medical examiner believes “the likely cause of death was smothering,” the Prosecutor’s Office reported.

Child Protective Services had received four referrals regarding Walker and Noah in 2010 and 2011.

None of the referrals indicated that Noah had been injured, agency spokeswoman Sherry Hill said today.

“Overall, they were referrals about neglect of Noah, of dirty conditions in the house, possible drug use and hygiene of the boy and domestic violence between the parents,” Hill said. “Every time we checked it out he seemed clean, the house was cleaned up. He seemed OK.”

Hill said there was one referral in 2010 and three in 2011. The 2010 referral was resolved after an early family support services worker went to visit Walker and offered her services.

The three 2011 referrals were closed with unfounded conclusions.

The last CPS contact with Walker was in June. The agency had been called regarding poor hygiene of Noah.

“We followed up with her and the baby seemed OK,” Hill said.

Walker, who had previously filed a domestic violence petition against Noah’s father, and her son were living with extended family.

“There were no marks or bruises,” Hill said. “Their interaction was quite appropriate.”

The state agency will conduct a child fatality review into the boy’s death, which is standard practice when a child dies within a year of receiving services from CPS.

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