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Maryland mom charged with killing her 2-year-old daughter

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Local,Maryland,Crime,Naomi Jagoda

An Annapolis woman was arrested for allegedly killing her 2-year-old daughter, and police were still looking for the child's body late Thursday.

Chelsea Booth, 25, was charged earlier Thursday with first- and second-degree murder and first-degree child abuse resulting in death, Annapolis police said.

On Wednesday, a concerned neighbor contacted Annapolis police because she had not seen 2-year-old Kassidey Capri Booth in several days.

Police interviewed Chelsea Booth and other family members, and they searched Booth's home, Annapolis police Detective Amy Miguez said.

When Booth was interviewed, she told police that earlier this week, she had laid on top of Kassidey in her apartment and smothered the toddler, Migues said. The mother said that she then put the child's body in a trash bin in her community, according to Miguez.

Police had yet to recover Kassidey's body Thursday afternoon. The garbage from the trash bin had been put on a rail car at a landfill in Annapolis Junction.

"We are optimistic that if [Kassidey's] body ended up in the Dumpster for sure, we should have an idea of where the body should be," she told The Washington Examiner.

The rail car was held so police can search it for Kassidey's body. Thursday afternoon, police were resolving logistical issues so that they could begin searching through the garbage on the car, Miguez said.

Booth was being held without bond. Her bail review hearing is scheduled for Friday morning in Annapolis District Court, said Kristin Fleckenstein, a spokeswoman for the Anne Arundel County State's Attorney's Office.

Anyone with information about the case can contact police at 410-268-9000.

Child deaths involving caregivers are uncommon but not unheard of in Maryland. In 2011, nine child deaths in the state occurred as a result of physical abuse. An additional 17 deaths occurred because children had unsafe sleep environments, inadequate supervision or inadequate medical attention, said Maryland Department of Human Resources spokesman Brian Schleter.

Miguez encouraged people to report suspected child abuse. She also encouraged parents who might need help taking care of their children to reach out to family and friends or to call a mental-health hotline. The Anne Arundel County Crisis Response Hotline is 410-768-5522.

"Unfortunately, it's not completely out of the ordinary for a family member to have done this," Miguez said.

njagoda@washingtonexaminer.com

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