W.Bank residents in shock over deadly attack on 2-year-old girl - FOX 8, WVUE, fox8live.com, weather, app, news, saints

West Bank residents in shock over deadly attack on two-year-old girl

Authorities said the child was attacked inside this home in Marrero. Authorities said the child was attacked inside this home in Marrero.

Marrero, La. — In the Westminster subdivision, a tragedy unfolded that has some in a state of disbelief.

"I'm in shock because I did not know it was on this street, so I'm in shock, nothing ever happens on this street," said resident Flora Epinoza.

The Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office says a two-year-old girl, identified as Darrione Taylor of Marrero, came under severe attack by her mother's boyfriend at her home on Wakefield Drive last Friday.  The child, who had been on a ventilator for nearly a week, died Thursday night at a local hospital, according to authorities.

"I think it's terrible," said Jackson Green, a resident.

Authorities said 23-year-old Cyril Jones of the same address now faces second-degree murder charges in the toddler's death.

Investigators said he was babysitting two-year-old Darrione and three other children at the house on March 15.  At some point, Darrione was rushed to the hospital after Jones dialed 911. She was suffering from severe head injuries, swelling to her forehead, and a large bite mark on her back, according to the sheriff's office.

Investigators said Jones initially insisted the little girl fell on the floor after repeatedly jumping on a bed.  The sheriff's office said, as investigators continued to interview him, Jones admitted that he bit the child. The JPSO press release said Jones told investigators, "I just clicked out."

According to investigators, Jones went on to say that Darrione had been running around the house and not listening to his instructions, so Jones grabbed her and threw her to the floor, causing her to head her hit.  Jones also allegedly admitted to shaking the child violently, telling her not to jump on the bed.

"That's ridiculous, that's bad. That's a child... why would someone do that to a child, you know... an adult is bad enough, now it's a child. What is this world coming to?" asked Espinoza.

No one answered the door at the home Friday afternoon.

Local advocates for children say abuse is on the rise in Louisiana.

"April 24th we'll be planting another 42 trees in memory of 42 children who died in Louisiana last year as a result of abuse," said Stacie LeBlanc, executive director of the Children At Risk Evaluation Center at New Orleans' Children Hospital, known as the CARE Center.

She said far too often the aggressors are people who the children trust.  "It's a tragic epidemic going on in our country and in Louisiana that, each year, children are dying at the hands of people who are supposed to love them," continued LeBlanc.

She said everyone has a responsibility to look out for defenseless children.  "If you have a suspicion, if you have cause to believe, if you fear for the safety of a child, please don't hesitate to call child protection, call law enforcement and let the authorities investigate," said LeBlanc.

People in the area where the child was harmed have strong feelings about what should happen to Jones.

"I think, my opinion I think he should get life or a death penalty, a two-year-old baby, yes ma'am I think so," said Green.

The CARE Center is holding a fundraiser Sunday at the New Orleans Fair Grounds to raise money for the care of child abuse victims.  The event starts at noon. For more information, visit http://www.hatsonforchildren.eventbrite.com or call (504) 896-9237.

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