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Virginia Couple Accused of Murder After 9-Day-Old Baby Dies with Burns on Both Feet, Broken Ribs: Cops

Virginia Parents Arrested After 9-Day-Old Baby Dies From Severe Injuries
Source: Norfolk Police Department

Z’ibreyea Parker (left) and Hilary Johnson (right) charged in death of their 9-day-old child, officials said.

May 15 2024, Published 4:02 p.m. ET

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The parents of a 9-day-old girl in Virginia have been arrested after the girl allegedly died from injuries consistent with shaken baby syndrome, according to authorities.

On May 4, officers responded to a protection call at the Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters in Norfolk after the newborn was admitted to the hospital with what appeared to be signs of abuse, according to the Norfolk Police Department.

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Police said the infant was later pronounced dead.

According to law enforcement officials, officers arrested the girl’s parents, 21-year-old Z’ibreyea Parker and 23-year-old Hilary Johnson, for child abuse.

An autopsy later determined the manner of the infant’s death to be homicide, so police also charged Johnson and Parker with second-degree murder, officials said.

According to court documents obtained by WAVY-TV, the baby girl, who was identified as I’ijayah Johnson, was “cold to the touch” when she first arrived at the hospital.

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The baby had “severe burns on both feet, splash burns on other areas of her body,” broken ribs, a broken clavicle and “severe” bruising on her head, the affidavit states.

Officials said there were “clear signs of ‘shaken baby’ syndrome.”

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Parker and Johnson were reportedly homeless and living in a tent off the highway because Johnson’s grandfather kicked them out of his house when Parker gave birth.

When speaking with police, Johnson seemed “cavalier about the offense” and said “it couldn’t be proven that he ‘did it’ because he brought the baby to the hospital," the affidavit states.

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Investigators said Parker didn’t think her daughter’s injuries “were all that serious,” so she treated the wounds with witch hazel and “other home remedies.”

They were both booked into the Norfolk City Jail and were being held without bond.

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