A woman in North Dakota said a child went under the water during a bath and later died. But officials said the child had injuries from head to toe and was the victim of a homicide.
Now, the woman will head to prison for decades.
Recently, a North Dakota judge sentenced Brandi Lynn Adeleke to 30 years in prison for killing a 15-month-old in her care, according to The Forum in Bismarck, North Dakota.
On Nov. 20, 2020, Adeleke called 911 to a Fargo home to report Meka Ducheneaux was struggling to breathe, according to The Forum. EMS found the child unresponsive and with suspicious bruising.
Adeleke said she gave the child a bath and left the girl unattended. The 15-month-old went underwater for an unknown amount of time, Adeleke claimed.
Adeleke said she then gave the child juice before she became unresponsive, according to The Forum.
An Autopsy showed Ducheneaux died from blunt force trauma and numerous injuries, according to The Forum. The child had injuries from “head to toe,” prosecutor Ryan Younggren said during a court hearing according to The Forum.
Adeleke pleaded guilty to murder and child abuse.
During the sentencing hearing, the victim’s aunt, Amanda Carrillo, spoke to the court.
“I don’t understand how you can take the life of an innocent child and what she could have done so badly that made you hurt her,” Carrillo said, according to ValleyNewsLive. “I feel pain every time I walk through my door because there’s something missing. I feel pain every time I hear my kids laugh because there’s a little laughter missing.”
Carrillo said Adeleke was a family friend and having a sleepover with the child.
Ducheneaux’s father said he did not want Adeleke to spend the rest of her life in prison, Carrillo said. She added that he forgave Adeleke, and a life sentence wasn’t going to bring his daughter back.
Adeleke apologized to the Ducheneaux family during her sentencing.
“I’m sorry to the family. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean for any of this to happen and I’m just, I’m sorry,” Adeleke said and ValleyNewsLive reported.