NAHUNTA, Ga. - An 18-year-old mother and her boyfriend are facing felony murder charges in the death of the woman's 16-month-old daughter, according to the Brantley County Sheriff's Office.
Deputies and emergency personnel responded Feb. 12 to a report of a child in respiratory distress at a home on Wilson Road in the Raybon community. The girl, who had visible bruising on her stomach, was barely breathing and was taken to an emergency room in Waycross, where she died, deputies said.
An autopsy conducted Monday found that blunt-force trauma contributed to Anniston Wilson's death.
The child's mother, Marley Rena Wilson, told deputies at the time that she had put the toddler down with a bottle of milk, and 5 minutes later heard her having problems breathing, according to the report. Wilson told deputies that she performed CPR on her daughter.
According to Frye Funeral Home in Nahunta, a service was held for Anniston Wilson on Friday at Southside Baptist Church. Burial followed at Oak Grove Cemetery.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation was called to help investigate the toddler's death, and Wilson and Wilson's 19-year-old boyfriend, James Paul Cutshall III, were arrested on felony murder charges.
Marley Wilson's great-uncle, Corbet Wilson, said the family is close-knit and is grief stricken and devastated.
"(I) just don't know what to say or do," he said. "There ain't nothing you can do but pray."
Wilson said his grandniece was pregnant with another child.
"She's young you know," Corbet Wilson said. "This was her first child and, I guess, just like any other first-time mother ... it was pretty difficult. And her being pregnant again was bad too, I guess."
Corbet said he doesn't know much about Cutshall, but can't believe either of the teens would lay a hand on an innocent child.
Wilson and Cutshall are being held at the Brantley County Sheriff's Office Detention Center. The girl's death is still being investigated by GBI and the Sheriff's Office.
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