Mother charged with cruelty in toddler’s death

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EL CAJON, Calif. -- A 26-year-old man accused in the death of his girlfriend's toddler daughter at their Alpine home is expected to be arraigned on a first-degree murder charge Tuesday while the child's mother remains jailed on suspicion of child cruelty.

Wiliey Foster was arrested Friday in connection with the death 18-month-old Leah Brown-Meza. The girl's mother, 21-year-old Lillie Golden Brown, was taken into custody three days later on suspicion of three counts of willful cruelty to a child with great bodily injury and/or death, according to the sheriff's department and jail records.

Read More: Toddler found dead in Alpine motorhome

Sheriff's deputies and paramedics responding to a report that a child had stopped breathing in a motor home parked on a residential property in the 300 block of Hunter Lane found the girl's body shortly after noon last Tuesday, according to sheriff's officials.

Homicide and child-abuse detectives were summoned to investigate the child's death "based on the circumstances and the presence of additional injuries to the victim," sheriff's Lt. Kenneth Nelson said.

The county Medical Examiner's Office determined Leah died from blunt force trauma. Other autopsy results remain sealed, Nelson said.