Diane Jones, 27 year-old from Lake Worth, Florida, went to her doctor’s appointment on Monday, August 18, 2008, and left her daughter, Lakeicia Jones with her husband, Nathaniel Sampson.  Nathaniel Sampson was with his step-daughter Lakeicia Jones at a friend’s home. News stories report that Mr. Sampson called Ms. Jones and told her that Lakeicia had hit her head. When Ms. Jones arrived to the scene, she found that her daughter was having a hard time breathing. EMS arrived to the house and emergently transported Lakeicia to St. Mary’s Medical Center. Lakeicia was pronounced dead shortly after arriving to the hospital. There was significant evidence blunt force trauma. Lakeicia had hand prints on her face and torso. She sustained a skull fracture, broken ribs, collapsed lung and multiple contusions.  

Palm Beach County Sherriff’s Office is conducting the investigation and did arrest Nathaniel Sampson for murder charges. Lakeicia Jones is remembered as a loving child.  

Prevention of death and injury related to child abuse: Monitor other adults around your child. Look for signs that the caregiver or parent delayed in seeking help for an injury or potential injury. Have a high-index of suspicion for an individual providing an inconsistent history about the mechanism of injury. Suspect intentional injury when the injury is inconsistent with the child’s developmental capabilities. Suspect abuse when fractures are present at varying degrees of healing stages. Look for bruises to the back of the body. Be suspicious if there are bald spots or broken hair on the scalp. Visualize the pattern of an injury to see if it resembles a belt, belt buckle, cigarette burn or scald injury from submersion in hot water. Suspect sexual abuse with trauma or infection of the perineal area.      

Christopher Keane
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California Child Abuse and Child Injury Lawyer
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