LAWRENCE COUNTY, Ind. (TCD) — A woman was arrested in Michigan almost a year after her 19-month-old daughter was hospitalized with a “deformed head” and other injuries, ultimately causing her death.
According to the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office, on Nov. 23, 2022, deputies went to Indiana University Hospital in Bedford after receiving information about a possible child abuse case. Nineteen-month-old Elliaunna Plummer was hospitalized with “injuries that were consistent with abuse,” and she was later taken to Riley Hospital, where she died.
Following an extensive investigation, detectives sent the case to the Lawrence County District Attorney’s Office with a probable cause affidavit. They issued a warrant for 33-year-old Cheyenne Hill’s arrest with nationwide extradition on a charge of neglect of a dependent resulting in death.
Hill reportedly moved to northern Michigan, and investigators ultimately tracked her down and arrested her following a traffic stop in Marquette County on Sept. 17. She was extradited to Indiana on Sept. 25.
The probable cause affidavit says Elliaunna was hospitalized with a brain bleed, broken collarbone, and bruising to her head and face. Photos of the girl before she was hospitalized showed a “swollen and deformed head and bruising on her forehead and the left and right sides of her face.”
She also reportedly had “red-brownish marks” under her eyes.
On Nov. 17, 2022, someone reportedly contacted DCS and “reported suspicious smells coming from near the apartment,” including marijuana and “a strong chemical-drug-like smell.” The caller noticed bruises on Elliaunna’s face, though Hill allegedly told the person her daughter fell out of bed. The person called again Nov. 23, 2022, and said Elliaunna had marks on her face and appeared “lethargic, that she would not wake up, appeared ‘half dead,’ and could barely hold her head up.”
Hill reportedly left Elliaunna in the caller’s care while she went to work.
On Nov. 23, Hill reportedly woke up early and saw the bruising on her face, but she “did not feel it was serious enough to call an ambulance.”
The same day, Hill’s boyfriend, Cameron Fleming, noticed Elliaunna’s forehead injury continued to grow and told Hill the child needed to go to the hospital. Hill allegedly told Fleming the forehead bump occurred when the toddler hit her head on an end table. Elliaunna’s babysitter said the wound looked like a “goose egg,” which Hill said was caused by Elliaunna falling off the bed.
Fleming and the babysitter reportedly urged Hill to take Elliaunna to the hospital, but Hill allegedly responded, “Under no circumstances are you to call an ambulance or take her in yourself. I will make the decisions. That is my child.”
Hill allegedly told one of her co-workers her daughter “was born with a tumor on her brain and it was bleeding.” She reportedly said to another co-worker her daughter “used to be beautiful and now she is ugly.”
The affidavit says Hill spoke with a Donor Network Family Service representative and described Elliaunna as “not a nice kid” and believed she “would have been the next Jeffrey Dahmer.”
In an interview with detectives, Hill allegedly called her daughter “an a–hole.”
Elliaunna died Nov. 26, 2022. She was 10 pounds underweight, and the pathologist who conducted the autopsy said she was malnourished, had a laceration in her mouth, a fractured clavicle, and several hemorrhages. The cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head.
Court records show Hill pleaded not guilty. Her trial is scheduled for March 13, 2024.
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