Mother Charged In Howard County Child Abuse Case
COLUMBIA, Md. (WUSA) - Howard County police have filed child abuse charges in a 2010 case against the mother of a toddler whose unrelated death in 2011 was ruled a homicide.
Joaquinia Marie LaJeuness, 28, of 5912 Stevens Forest Road in Columbia, was indicted by a grand jury last week on two counts of second-degree child abuse, second-degree assault, a contributing course of conduct contributing to abuse, and obstructing and hindering. She was arrested on Friday in Meridian, Mich.
LaJeuness waived extradition and was transported to the Howard County Detention Center on Saturday, where she is being held on $2,500 bond.
On Nov. 3, 2010, Howard County Department of Social Services received a report that the suspect's son, Elijah Izale LaJeuness, two years old at the time, had marks and bruises on his face. A doctor's review concluded the injuries were not accidental. Police investigated the incident in collaboration with DSS, but at the time, lacked sufficient evidence to file criminal charges.
Five months later, on April 13, 2011, police responded to the 9600 block of Basket Ring Road at 4 a.m. for a
report that a child was not breathing. Elijah LaJeuness, who had since turned three years old, was taken to Howard
County General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Although there were no obvious signs of foul play
at the scene, detectives began investigating the case as suspicious. A final autopsy report released in June
2011 ruled the cause of death as asphyxiation and the manner homicide. No one has been charged in that case.
While investigating the child's homicide, which is still under investigation, police developed additional information that led to the indictment in the November 2010 case.