WGNO Coats for Kids 2014 Drop-Off Locations

Disturbing New Details In Toddler Death

There are disturbing new revelations in the death of a toddler, who’s mother has been charged with the crime.

WGNO News Reporter Darian Trotter has the latest on the police investigation and reaction from parents.

Amidst play-time and laughter at City Park, there was heart-felt reaction to new details about a toddler’s death; and the second-degree murder charges filed against her mother.

“It’s sad, it’s very sad,” New Orleans Parent Brian Hill said. “It makes me wonder why someone would do something like that.”

An autopsy has determined that 2-year old Zion Harris died Tuesday from a lacerated liver and kidney.

The child’s stepfather noticed she wasn’t herself at during an outing at City Park.

She was reportedly crying non-stop, staggering, and later became unresponsive.

Investigators say 28-year old Michelle Harris admitted to striking the girl with her hand for being disobedient.

But her older sister witnessed more. Detectives say Zion was kicked and beaten.

“I work with kids every day and the thought of that is nauseous,” local elementary school teacher Bridget Joyce said.

“I don’t know what happened, what went wrong she’s a good mother,” family friend Vanessa Scott said.

Friends at the family’s Gentilly home, say Harris was under a great deal of stress.

She came in from Atlanta to help care for her ailing mother and grandmother.

“A lot of stuff by the mom being sick and they just don’t know which way to go everybody twisted, everybody they just don’t know,” Scott explained.

“To take it out on a child, to do something to a child in response to that is, there’s no excuse for that,” Hill said.

“No excuse; you don’t have no excuse at all,” Camarillo said. “That’s a two year old baby.” “That’s a baby.”

Parents and caregivers we talked to admit, raising young children has its own set of challenges.

Any added stress doesn’t help. But they say there are far better ways to cope.

“They get unruly, you take a deep breath and you move forward,” Joyce said.

A bond for Harris has been set for 350-thousand dollars.

Her 3-year old daughter is with family members.