Chesterton Tribune



Valparaiso mother charged after her 3 year old drowns in pond

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A Valparaiso woman has been charged with neglect of a dependent after her 3-year-old daughter drowned in a pond late Monday night, the Valparaiso Police Department said.

Tansia Latice Perkins, 32, of 2709 Roanoke Court, was booked into the Porter County Jail at 3:48 a.m. Tuesday, roughly four hours after her daughter, Tamira Billingslea, was pronounced dead at Porter Regional Hospital (PRH).

According to the VPD, at 9:26 p.m. Monday officers responded to Perkins’ residence in the Williamsburg on the Lake apartment complex, after Perkins reported Tamira missing. The VPD-- assisted by Valparaiso Fire/Rescue, the Porter County Search & Rescue Team, and a Porter County Sheriff’s Department K-9 unit--began an immediate search. The K-9 subsequently tracked the child to the pond, where she was found unresponsive.

Tamira was transported to PRH and though ER staff “worked diligently” Tamira was pronounced dead at 11:22 p.m., Coroner Chuck Harris said. Harris told the Chesterton Tribune today that he has ruled cause of death to be asphyxiation due to drowning.

In a statement released to the Tribune this morning, the VPD said that, in subsequent interviews with investigators, Perkins “made inconsistent statements regarding the time taken to notify the police once the child was determined to be missing.”

Investigators then found “additional inconsistencies in Perkins’ explanation of the incident,” the VPD said.

Following consultation with the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, the VPD said, Perkins was charged with neglect of a dependent, a Level 1 felony punishable by a term of 20 to 40 years

The VPD, Coroner’s Office, and Indiana Department of Natural Resources continue to investigate the incident, Harris told the Tribune.


Posted 7/11/2018




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