UPDATE: Mother charged in death of toddler - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Mother charged in death of toddler

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

UPDATE: Chattanooga police have arrested  22-year-old Melanie Emerson, charging her with child reckless endangerment in the death of her three-year-old daughter Tatiana Emerson.

The medical examiner’s autopsy report for the death of the child showed that she had suffered sexual assault and had been beaten severely.

Rhesean Lowry, 34, has also been charged in the case.


PREVIOUS STORY:  A child death case is heading to court next month.  

Rhasean Lowry is charged with criminal homicide and several counts of child abuse and neglect for the death of 3-year-old Tatiana Emerson.  

Police say Lowry first told doctors she fell down a flight of stairs at a hotel on Bonny Oaks Drive.

READ MORE | Autopsy shows 3-year old was beaten and sexually assaulted

The charge was updated to homicide, when the young girl passed away the very next day.

Lowry is expected in court November 20th.


PREVIOUS STORY: A Chattanooga man told police his girlfriend's daughter fell down a flight of stairs. She later died in the hospital. But doctors say it is obvious the 3-year-old child's injuries are not consistent with a fall.

Now 34-year-old Rhasean Lowry is facing a criminal homicide charge.

"This is the worst case you can work," says Chattanooga Police Detective Matthew Puglise.

Chattanooga Police say Rhasean Lowry was staying at this hotel off Bonny Oaks last week when he was watching his girlfriend's 3-year-old daughter.

In the affidavit of complaint obtained by Channel 3, Lowry told police while he went to get a bottle of milk from his car for another child, 3-year-old Tatiana Emerson climbed an outside stairway and when she reached the top, "she lost her balance and fell to the bottom."

A manager at the hotel tells Channel 3 this is a very sad situation. He also says after talking with some of his staff members, unfortunately, they did not see or hear anything.

But doctors say the girl's injuries speak for themselves. After the fall, Lowry took Tatiana to the hospital.

"They were able to do CPR and bring her back. A night later, she passed," says Puglise.

Investigator Puglise says doctors told him Tatiana's "injuries were the result of blunt force trauma" and she was struck several times.

"We do see the worst of the worst in our facility," says Shelley McGraw.

McGraw says she is all too familiar with cases like this one. She is the Executive Director of the non-profit Children's Advocacy Center of Hamilton County.

"It's incredibly sad when anything happens to a child, especially a very small child. I think that in order to make that child's life not be in vain, it's important for us to be driven to action," says McGraw.

The center helped more than 580 abused children last year. 

"We saw those kids because they either had the courage to tell or a grown had the courage to make that report."

She encourages others to do the same.

"It's very important that we are bringing perpetrators to justice, that we are taking care of kids by making sure that the folks that harm them, don't have access to harm other children as well," says McGraw.

To report suspected child abuse in the state of Tennessee, you can call the hotline number: 1-877-54-ABUSE (22873)

Lowry sits behind bars and is scheduled to appear in court next Tuesday. 

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