Baby dies blunt object cited


The death of a nearly 2-year-old northwest Baltimore girl, who was taken to Sinai Hospital last night with bruises and possible internal injuries, was ruled a homicide today.

After a preliminary autopsy today, to determine whether the girl died of child abuse and whether criminal charges should be filed, the state medical examiner's office in Baltimore ruled that the girl had been killed by being hit with a blunt object.

City police said Shaquana Sample, who would have been 2 on Sept. 27, was pronounced dead last night after being taken to the hospital.

The victim's address was listed as the 2900 block of Walbrook Ave. but Homicide Detective Frank Barlow said Shaquana and her mother, Stacey Sample, 17, had been staying with the mother's boyfriend since Friday at a home in the 4700 block of Homer Ave. in Pimlico. The boyfriend is not the father of the baby, police said.

Barlow said Stacey Sample left the Homer Avenue residence Sunday afternoon, leaving the baby with her boyfriend and his mother and others, and went alone to her home in Walbrook.

About 8:15 p.m. yesterday, the boyfriend's mother went to Shaquana's bed but was unable to awaken her. Someone in the house thendialed 911 and requested an ambulance for "a child having trouble breathing."

Police also were dispatched to the house and said the child's body was cold when they arrived and rigor mortis appeared to have begun to set in in the arms and legs.

During the trip to the hospital, a medic continued to attempt to revive the unconscious child. She officially was pronounced dead at the hospital about 9:20 p.m.

However, a doctor at Sinai told police the child apparently had been dead two to three hours.

Police said the child's body bore what appeared to be bruises on the chest, abdomen and back and an abrasion on the chin. An examination at the hospital revealed what may have been internal injuries.

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