New details in death of six-year-old Bemidj girl

By KBJR News 1

New details in death of six-year-old Bemidj girl

March 17, 2014 Updated Mar 17, 2014 at 7:00 PM CST

Bemidji, MN (NNCNOW.com) - The cousin of the six-year-old girl found frozen to death outside her apartment building in March was charged Monday in connection with the incident.

A Criminal Complaint says the victim's cousin, 22-year-old Rachel Downer had offered to let the girl, Mercedes Mayfield, stay with her because the girl's mother, Malika Peoples, had injured her arm at work and was on medication.

Police say Downer later changed her mind but didn't tell Peoples about her change in plans before leaving the apartment.

The next morning Downer enlisted the help of her son and Mercedes to carry items out to her car.

She told police she watched Mercedes re-enter the building before driving away.

An investigation found that the outside door to the apartment building is controlled by a security system.

The little girl never made it inside and later died of hypothermia.

Downer was arrested Friday and charged with 2nd degree Manslaughter and felony neglect of a child.

Written by Kevin Jacobsen
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