A mother and grandmother in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, have been arrested and charged with first-degree murder after allegedly forcing a 4-year-old girl to drink more than half a bottle of whisky, police said Friday.
The tragedy reportedly unfolded early Thursday morning inside an East Baton Rouge home when officers responded to reports of an unresponsive child, later identified as China Record, according to WAFB-TV.
In an arrest report, officers claimed that upon their arrival, they found the young girl with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .680 — or more than eight times the legal limit at which adults are considered too intoxicated to drive.
Firefighters and other emergency medical responders reportedly attempted to revive the young girl at the scene but were unsuccessful. Unsurprisingly, the local coroner's office soon determined the girl's cause of death to be acute alcohol poisoning.
Officers immediately arrested the child’s grandmother, 53-year-old Roxanne Record, and the victim’s mother, 28-year-old Kadjah Record and the pair is currently being held at the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison.
While speaking with the suspects following the incident, investigators reportedly learned that the victim’s grandmother discovered China sipping out of a bottle of whisky that had been on the counter and became angry. As an alleged punishment, she then forced the girl to drink the rest of the bottle while the mother watched.
Investigators added that the bottle was possibly more than half full at the time and that the young girl was made to drink the alcohol while on her knees in the hallway. China's mother was allegedly present during the incident but failed to prevent her mother from poisoning the child.
The Advocate reported that, according to arrest documents, the child's mother was "present and failed to stop" her mother "from providing the alcohol" and later placed the unresponsive child in a bathtub.
The alcohol consumed by the child was reportedly Canadian Mist, an 80 proof whisky, the outlet added, noting that whisky at 80 proof is 40% alcohol.
Upon being taken into custody, the grandmother, Roxanne Record, reportedly stated that "she messed up" and "wanted to take full responsibility" for the child’s death, adding that "this went too far" and "she ruined everyone’s lives."
In a statement to WAFB-TV, the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services said they are "devastated to hear the news of this child's death" but noted that they are prevented by state law from offering further comment on the case.
An investigation into the incident is ongoing.