Woman Charged With Killing Niece, 3, After Months of Alleged Abuse

The aunt and legal guardian of a little girl has been arrested for allegedly killing the 3-year-old after months of abuse, police in Maryland say.

Barbara Ann Mumpower, 41, has been charged with first-degree murder for the death of Maria Louellen Barlow, 3, on June 3.

Mumpower was arrested Wednesday, what would have been her niece's 4th birthday, in Belcamp, Maryland.

Mumpower's arrest is the second in the case after her partner Randolph James Mack, 43, was detained at the time of the girl's death.

Barbara Ann Mumpower and Maria Barlow
Barbara Ann Mumpower, 41, has been charged with first-degree murder for the death of Maria Louellen Barlow, 3, on June 3, 2022. @HarfordCountySheriffsOffice/Zenger

The Harford County Sheriff's Office said in a statement Thursday: "On June 3, 2022, deputies assigned to the Southern Precinct of the Harford County Sheriff's Office responded to the 1200 block of Ashmead Square for the report of a juvenile in cardiac arrest.

"Upon arrival, deputies located a small child in the living room area of the home, with medics already attempting life-saving efforts. The child, identified as Maria Louellen Barlow, was transported to the University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Medical Center, where she was pronounced deceased."

The police said: "The investigation was assumed by detectives with the Harford County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigations Division. Investigators from the Forensic Services Unit responded to the area to collect and preserve physical evidence in support of the investigation.

Randolph James Mack
Randolph James Mack, 43, was also arrested for the death of the 3-year-old Maria Louellen Barlow, police say. @HarfordCountySheriffsOffice/Zenger

"As a result of the initial investigation, and with guidance from the Harford County State's Attorney, Randolph James Mack, 43, of Essex, was charged with 1st and 2nd degree murder, 1st and 2nd degree assault and child abuse.

"The investigation continued, revealing a pattern of abuse conducted by both Mack and Maria's aunt, Barbara Ann Mumpower, 41, of Belcamp, dating back to at least January 4, 2022.

"Mumpower was Maria's guardian at the time of the abuse, and she was in the physical custody of both Mumpower and Mack at the time of her death. Mumpower and Mack were in a relationship at the time of the abuse and murder.

"As a result of the ongoing investigation, and after consultation with the Harford County State's Attorney, Mumpower was charged with 1st degree murder, child abuse, neglect of a minor and accessory after the fact."

The police added: "Detectives arrested her without incident on June 8, 2022, on what would've been Maria's 4th birthday. She was transported to the Harford County Detention Center, where she is being held without bail."

The investigation is ongoing.

This story was provided to Newsweek by Zenger News.