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Juvenile Justice

Girl, 5, is Suspect in Homicide of a Boy, 18 Months, Who Drowned in Tub, Police Say

Posted Jun 10, 2011 7:06 AM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Although apparently too young to be charged with a crime, an unidentified 5-year-old girl is being investigated by Kansas City police as a suspect in what they are calling the homicide of an 18-month-old boy.

After initially calling the boy's death as an accident, authorities began a homicide investigation after the girl allegedly told social workers she had drowned him in the bathroom, reports MSNBC.

"She said she got angry because he would not stop crying and she held him under the water until he stopped crying," said police spokesman Darin Snapp. He called the girl "the youngest suspect I can remember."

However, Bart Lubow, a juvenile expert at the Baltimore-based Annie E. Casey Foundation said a child at age 5 is incapable of forming criminal intent and probably doesn't even understand what it means to drown someone.

A teenage babysitter was home at the time but had fallen asleep when the girl allegedly took the 18-month-old into the bathroom.

An article in the Kansas City Star provides additional details.

Updated at 7:14 a.m. to accord with current coverage and add link to Kansas City Star article.

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