Woman Accused of Killing Her Own 3-Year-Old Grandson Told Authorities It Was 'Accident'

A horrifying incident in Denton, Texas, involving the death of a toddler, has led to the arrest of his grandmother and caretaker.

According to a Monday news release from the Denton Police Department, 57-year-old Angela Downing has been accused of murdering her three-year-old grandson. The child was declared dead two days prior, on Saturday, January 22.

On Tuesday, January 18, authorities with Child Protective Services (CPS) were notified of a "severely injured child being treated at a local hospital," said the Denton news release. Upon questioning, Downing reportedly told officials that the toddler had accidentally fallen down a flight of stairs.

However, an investigation into the child's condition revealed another story. Doctors determined that, due to the nature of his injuries, the toddler had not been hurt in an accidental manner.

Moreover, police said that Downing eventually confessed to harming the child. Specifically, she "admitted to forcefully throwing the child onto the bathroom floor and against a wall," stated the news release.

The child sustained grave injuries as a result of the abuse, including a skull fracture, brain bleeding, and brain swelling. He was first pronounced brain dead, and then dead, over the weekend.

Meanwhile, Downing, who was the child's legal guardian, has been arrested on murder charges.

"This is a grandmother and a grandchild. That's not a case we see very often," said Denton Police Officer Allison Beckwith in a statement for KRLD.

"It is a tragic reminder of how devastating child abuse can be," she added. "If you suspect or know of anyone who is being abused—we encourage people to call the Children's Advocacy Center or the police department...anybody that they can call for help."

In their statements on the incident, the Denton Police Department did not elaborate on why Downing committed the alleged act of violence, nor did they describe the circumstances that led up to it.

Child abuse in its many forms continues to pose a threat to kids around the country. According to the nonprofit organization DoSomething, an estimated one out of every seven children in the U.S. has experienced child abuse and/or neglect in the past year.

According to the U.S. Children's Bureau, fatalities resulting from child abuse and neglect can be "difficult to track." In 2019, an estimated 1,840 children died from abuse or neglect—a 10 percent increase since 2015.

Newsweek reached out to Denton Police Chief Frank Dixon for additional information regarding the case but did not receive a response in time for publication.

Handcuffed Woman
A woman in Denton, Texas has been arrested on murder charges following the tragic death of her grandson. zoka74/iStock / Getty Images Plus