Reservoir Hill toddler was beaten and strangled


An 18-month-old girl found dead Monday on the front porch of her family's Reservoir Hill home had been beaten and strangled, according to an autopsy by the state medical examiner's office.

A number of people have been questioned, including the toddler's parents and other relatives, but no charges have been filed, said Agent Doug Price, a spokesman for the city Police Department.

The body of the toddler, Shelby Marie Smith, was found in a bag on the porch of her family's home in the 900 block of Brooks Lane by a relative Monday morning.

Shelby was reported missing Sunday morning by her mother, Katrina Grimes, 18, who told police that she had been asleep in a third-floor bedroom with the girl and another child. When she awoke about 6 a.m., the mother reported, Shelby was gone.

After Shelby was reported missing, police searched the family's house and the neighborhood, but did not find the toddler.

Ms. Grimes reported that her ex-boyfriend, who is the girl's father, may have taken the child, police said. The father, 19, was questioned Monday night and released, Agent Price said. The mother and other relatives also have been questioned by investigators.

"A lot of people have been questioned," said Agent Price. "No one has been charged or arrested."

An autopsy completed yesterday listed the cause of death as strangulation and blunt force trauma, Agent Price said. He declined to say what was used to strike the girl or where she was struck.

The autopsy did not conclusively determine the time of death, but additional tests are expected to be done by the medical examiner's office, Agent Price said.

Police ask that anyone with information about the case call the department's homicide unit at 396-2100.

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