Teen girl accused of toddler's murder

Teen girl accused of toddler's murder »Play Video
Kern County sheriff's deputies investigate a toddler's death Monday, Dec. 16, 2013, on Jefferson Street in Bakersfield, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX photo/John Raguindin)
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — A teenage girl was arrested Monday on suspicion of murdering a 2-year-old boy.

The 17-year-old girl's name was withheld. She was booked into juvenile hall, accused of first-degree murder and assault on a child causing death.

The girl was caring for the boy, Kayden Webb, when he stopped breathing around 3:15 a.m. at an apartment on the 1700 block of Jefferson Street. Emergency crews rendered medical aid and rushed the boy to nearby Kern Medical Center, but Kayden was pronounced dead around 6:45 a.m.

Investigators had immediately started questioning the teenager who had been babysitting the toddler. By Monday afternoon, officers said they'd developed enough probable cause to arrest her.

"There was some evidence that the boy had been assaulted," Sheriff's spokesman Ray Pruitt told Eyewitness News. He would not provide details about the signs of assault.

"But, it's our belief, at this point, that he died as a result of injuries that he sustained while he was with the female suspect," Pruitt said.

The Kern County Sheriff's Office said the suspect is an "acquaintance of the victim's mother" but didn't elaborate on her relationship with the child.

Two women who live in a nearby bungalow in the small apartment complex said they know the mother of the toddler, and they also know the teenager who's been arrested.

"She's a friend," one neighbor said. "She was actually being helped out by (the boy's mother) because she's homeless and her mom didn't really care for her like that, so (the toddler's mother) didn't want to leave her on the street."

The two neighbors said the child's mother had let the teenager care for the boy in the past.

"She was good with Kayden," one woman said. "There's nothing bad we could say on that aspect." Neither of the neighbors wanted to give their name or be identified.

The neighbors said the child's mother wasn't home on Monday morning when the incident happened, because she was at her mother's house "helping out over there."

From the Sheriff's department, Pruitt said an autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday. He would not provide any details about the evidence or injuries to the child.

But, he said the investigation points to the teenager. "We were able to develop information that leads us to believe that she's responsible for his death."