AZ - Latisha L. Breckenridge, 29, has been arrested on suspicion of second-degree murder and child abuse in the death of her 3-year-old niece.
On March 19, Juliana Ruiz was transported to the hospital after Breckenridge called 911 stating that Ruiz had fallen off of a recliner and stopped breathing.
Doctors pronounced Ruiz dead on arrival.
During the initial investigation, police said Breckenridge maintained her story that Ruiz had fallen off of a recliner and stopped breathing, at which point she called 911.
According to the medical examiner, the 3-year-old's death could not have been caused by the fall that was described by Breckenridge.
On April 11, investigators interviewed Breckenridge again, and she admitted to becoming angry with Ruiz. She told police she grabbed the girl by her clothing, pulled her, and then pushed her back against a couch. She said she heard a pop when Juliana's back was pushed against the couch.
Breckenridge said that she tossed Juliana forward and she fell to the ground. After several minutes, Breckenridge realized the girl was not breathing and called 911.
Breckenridge was the girl's legal guardian.