CROWN POINT — A Cedar Lake woman told police she noticed her 6-month-old daughter wasn't well Thursday, but went with her boyfriend to buy drugs and didn't seek help for the baby until the following day, court records allege.
Brittany C. Chambers, 20, was charged Monday with two counts of felony neglect in connection with the death of her daughter Elliana Orgon.
Elliana suffered four broken ribs, two dislocated shoulders, a fractured cervical vertebrae and multiple head injuries, Lake Criminal Court records state. The injuries likely were caused by blunt force trauma to the rear of her body.
Crown Point Police Chief Pete Land said the investigation would not end with Chamber's arrest.
"Our detectives are continuing in their aggressive and thorough follow-ups," he said. "We won't stop until anyone that may have had a role in this child's death is brought to justice."
When police arrived Friday to a home in the 700 block of Main Street in Crown Point, they found Elliana was cold to the touch and in rigor mortis, Lake Criminal Court records say.
Chambers, Elliana's mother, told police she called 911 after awaking about 2 p.m. and finding her infant was cold and blue.
Police observed garbage, drug paraphernalia and animal feces in the bedroom where Elliana's playpen was located, according to court records.
The playpen was damaged and filled with clothes and there were broken items all over the floor. The room smelled of feces and urine, and unknown liquid substances stuck to the shoes of officers who entered the room, records allege.
Chambers initially told police she, her boyfriend and Elliana went out Thursday and returned about midnight. She claimed she put Elliana to bed and went to bed about an hour later.
Chambers' boyfriend told police he and Chambers dropped her 2-year-old son off with his father and went to several restaurants before returning home about 11 p.m. Thursday. He claimed Chambers put the baby to bed and fell asleep in the bedroom.
The doctor who performed an autopsy on Elliana determined the baby's injuries likely would have occurred 12 to 14 hours before police found her in rigor mortis about 2 p.m. Friday, court records state.
In another interview with Crown Point police, Chambers admitted she signed an agreement in March with the Department of Child Services that prohibited her from allowing Elliana to have any contact with her boyfriend, court records say. The agreement was signed after Elliana suffered a previous injury that required hospitalization.
Records show the boyfriend was charged June 17 in Hobart City Court with misdemeanor possession of a synthetic drug or lookalike substance. His initial hearing in that case was set for July 15.
The boyfriend had not been charged in connection with Elliana's death as of Monday afternoon, records showed.
Chambers told police she left Elliana in her boyfriend's care, in violation of the safety plan agreement with DCS, while she took her son to his father's home, records allege.
When she returned, she noticed Elliana did not look right but did not check on her, records say. Chambers allegedly told police her boyfriend moved Elliana from a bounce chair to a car seat before they traveled to Gary to buy drugs.
She claimed she was robbed while attempting to buy drugs and later made a successful drug purchase. She, her boyfriend and Elliana then returned to his Crown Point home, where the couple smoked synthetic marijuana, records say.
Chambers told police she didn't know what happened to Elliana and did not check on the infant from midnight to 2 p.m. Friday, according to court records.
The investigation into Elliana's death was led by Crown Point Police Detectives Norm Issacs and Ryan Olson, Land said.
Chambers was being held Monday on a $50,000 bail. Court records did not yet list a defense attorney or date for her initial hearing.