Childs' Death Investigated As Homicide

OSCEOLA (KAIT) - Although an arrest has been made, the Osceola Police Department is still investigating the death of a three year old girl that occurred last Sunday.

On Sunday, an injured three year old girl was brought to the emergency room of the Blythiville hospital.

The nature of the child injuries raised suspicion at the hospital in Blytheville and local authorities were notified.

Chief Ray Rigsby, OPD, "They said they had a three year old black female who had died and they had suspicion of the death at that time."

The child was 3 year old E'shana Barnes who lived with her mother Antwonette Henderson and her mothers boyfriend and 2 other siblings in Osceola.

The body was sent to the crime lab in Little Rock and the Osceola PD began it's investigation.

Rigsby, "We started working and taking statements from people who had taken her up there and from the mother and the boyfriend started working on it here. "

Wednesday morning the preliminary report showed that it had been a homicide. Cause of death was internal bleeding.

That afternoon a warrant was issued for Antwonette Henderson the child's mother  for endangering the welfare of a minor. She was bound over to circuit court with a hundred and fifty thousand dollar bond.

The endangerment charge is based on the mothers statement that the child was having a seizure and she refused to take her to the local hospital, five minutes from the home and took her to Blytheville instead.

Depending on further investigation the charges may change to a more severe level.

Neighbors who lived next to Henderson were shocked at the child's death and mothers arrest.

Maria Russells' children had often played with Hendersons children.

"She was a really good mother, she did everything she could do for her kids she went out of her way for her kids I mean there wasn't no kinds of evidence, nothing."

For now Henderson remains in the Mississippi County jail and the investigation continues in Osceola.