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Authorities investigate home in which dead child was found


A city homicide detective and crime lab technicians donned protective clothing and masks yesterday before entering the Curtis Bay home of a 5-year-old girl whose death, of unknown cause, was under investigation.

Relatives of the girl, Bethany Boughner, had called the 911 emergency number just before 10 a.m. yesterday to get an ambulance to their home in the 4100 block of Grace Court.

The girl was pronounced dead by paramedics but taken to Harbor Hospital. Police, who are awaiting autopsy results from the state medical examiner's office, declined to describe conditions in the home - which neighbors said was infested with insects.

Homicide Detective Ronald Berger, in addition to wearing a white protective suit and a blue mask, entered the house carrying two cans of insecticide.

Neighbors said Bethany lived in the house with her mother, Desiree Boughner, 26, and grandfather, Raymond Boughner, 52, who is listed in city tax records as owner of the property. They had a dog and cat, and another family of six lived in the basement, neighbors said.

According to the neighbors, the house smelled and was infested with bugs, and several told of incidents of children in the household having head lice.

The mother, Desiree Boughner, could not be reached for comment last night. Neighbors said she sold Avon products door to door in the neighborhood. They said Bethany was home-schooled, and that her mother often told them about the girl having health problems.

"She was always saying [Bethany] was sick," said Crystal Gibson, 29, a neighbor. "The last couple of weeks, she said she'd been sick, had an ear infection."

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