North Miami police charge caregiver's boyfriend in baby's death
A 1-year-old who was removed from her mother's home is dead, and the boyfriend of a caregiver who was supposed to protect the baby is charged with killing her
On Monday, Kianna died under unexplained circumstances, and on Thursday, the live-in boyfriend of an aunt tasked with protecting the baby was arrested and charged with killing her.
Her cause of death: multiple skull fractures from blows to the head.
Timothy Bodden, 23, was charged with second-degree murder after police decided his explanation of events inside the North Miami apartment did not fit the evidence.
Bodden had been watching Kianna and her middle-school-aged sister Sunday while his girlfriend, the girls' aunt, Lisa Meus, was out of town, police said.
Bodden told authorities Kianna fell from a chair, knocking her head on a wood chest and leaving a small bruise on her cheek.
On Monday, Bodden said, Kianna appeared alert before he drove her to her birth mother's residence in Miami Gardens. He told police she fell asleep in the car, but was not responsive after they arrived.
However, the medical examiner determined the baby's injuries did not match Bodden's story.
The multiple skull fractures ``could not be caused by a single fall,'' the arrest warrant said, quoting the medical examiner. Kianna's death was a homicide caused by ``blunt force trauma,'' the medical examiner concluded.
The Department of Children and Families had a long history with Kianna's family, which included five children in all. DCF had placed two of them with their birth fathers and three others -- including Kianna -- with Meus, the aunt.
DCF had investigated Bodden and designated him an ``approved'' caregiver for the children. He did not have a criminal record in Florida, state records show.
On Thursday, nobody answered the door at the North Miami apartment. At the Miami Gardens house, a man who answered the door declined to comment.
The warrant gives the following account of what Bodden told police happened on Sunday:
Bodden was home with Kianna and her sister inside the apartment at 14899 NE 18th Ave. He was folding laundry while Kianna stood on a chair.
``He heard a thud noise and saw that the child had fallen on the floor,'' the warrant states. The only injury he saw was a small bruise on her right cheek.
Later, he put her to bed and the next morning, drove her to her mom's in Miami Gardens. She slept in the car, he said, but when they arrived she was ``unresponsive.'' Kianna's sister told police she wasn't in the room when Kianna fell.
When she asked Bodden about ``bruising'' on Kianna's face, he explained it as a ``skin condition,'' so the sister put Aveeno cream on Kianna's face, the warrant says. Bodden left the baby in her crib and took the sister to school. It was police who told the sister that Kianna had died.