Twenty-year-old Sydney White is behind bars in Mesa County, accused in the death of Angel Lane Place, an eleven-month-old girl for whom she was acting as a foster mother. White told investigators she accidentally dropped Angel, then shook her so violently one of her two biological kids told her to stop. In addition, a new report has surfaced in regard to a child abuse report against White from July. Photos, details and the complete arrest warrant below.
Angel's biological mother was Tierra Place, who told 7News White and her husband -- Place's 21-year-old brother -- took custody of her daughter in July.
The baby had been taken out of Place's home, she said, because "she and her husband fought, and...her husband told human services he used marijuana," the station notes.
As such, Angel joined a family that already included two children. White's Facebook page, which describes her as a stay-at-home mom, features photos and videos of her kids -- one a toddler, the other considerably younger. But within a matter of months, things went terribly wrong for the new addition.
Although White and her family live in Grand Junction, Angel died at Children's Hospital in Aurora. She was flown there early last week, but she didn't respond to treatment. The arrest report notes that she was taken off life support on Wednesday morning, September 17 and was declared dead early that afternoon.
A Google Maps view of Children's Hospital in Aurora, where Angel died.
A subsequent autopsy revealed a large bruise on her right temple area, above the hairline. The cause of death was most likely blunt-force trauma, a doctor told investigators.
Meanwhile, White met with law enforcers. The report stresses that she voluntarily revealed incidents that preceded Angel's death.
On September 12, she said, she was holding Angel in the bathroom while tending to one of her kids when she dropped the baby on the floor.Although she landed on her head, Angel maintained that she suffered only a minor cut on her lip and a bloody nose.
She reported no ill effects from the fall for several days. But on Monday, September 15, White reportedly said Angel began screaming and wouldn't stop.
A cropped version of a photo on Sydney White's Facebook page.
During the interview, White allegedly admitted that in response to the inconsolable child, she "held Angel by the neck with both hands and shook her multiple times." The warrant quotes her as admitting she was "out of control" and lost track of how long the shaking went on -- but at one point, the older of her kids came into the room and said, "Mommy, stop it."
She said she did so and then put Angel down to sleep. Afterward, she called someone whose name is blotted out in the document to report anxiety about her condition -- but when she awakened, White insisted that the baby seemed better
This improvement didn't last -- and when her condition continued to deteriorate, Angel was taken to St. Mary's Hospital in Grand Junction. She was in such dire condition that she was soon flown to Aurora for treatment.
After White's arrest on suspicion of child abuse resulting in death, the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel uncovered evidence of a previous abuse allegation aimed at White.
In July, when Angel was eight months old, Misty Blackwell, who served as the baby's foster mom before White took over, saw a mark over the baby's right eye. She had just been returned to Blackwell by White.
The caseworker assigned to oversee Angel's well-being was informed about Blackwell's concerns, but a report obtained by the Sentinel states that "no scratches were seen on Baby Angel during the handoff," and as a result, there was "no probable cause for charges."
At this writing, White is in Mesa County jail on a $100,000 bond.
Look below to see a larger version of White's booking photo, followed by a 7News report and the arrest warrant.
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