ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - A mother and her husband are charged in connection with the death of her 23-month-old child.
Deonte Evans is charged with second degree murder of Jabria Phillips, accused of beating his step daugther.
The mother, Shanika Evans, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child.
St. Louis Fire Captain Garon Mosby said medics rushed to an apartment on Rowan Avenue and Ridge Avenue in West St. Louis. He said the department got a call for help around 3:30 a.m. and found Phillips had no heartbeat. Medics performed CPR before turning the child over to doctors, who pronounced her dead.
Police are now calling the toddler’s death a homicide.
Brenda Baker, Phillips' grandmother who live in Detroit, said she found out about her granddaughter’s death on FOX2now.com after a friend called about news crews at the home. Baker says Jabria was just like her father who died last year.
"The Energizer Bunny has nothing on her,” she said, breaking down into tears. “[Jabria] was very energetic. Every time I saw her smile, I saw my son smile. Now, I don't even have that."
St. Louis Police were tight-lipped about the investigation. But, detectives from the department’s Homicide and Child Abuse divisions are now investigating.
A police Crime Lab technician took bags of evidence from the home. Other officers escorted two civilians in and out of the home.
Some in the community had not heard of the death until four hours later. Two children who lived next door headed out to school, but not before an officer lifted the crime-scene tape.