Mother arrested for child endangerment after death of toddler son

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ALPINE, Calif. – An East County woman whose toddler son died two weeks ago from injuries allegedly inflicted by her live-in boyfriend was jailed Tuesday on suspicion of child endangerment.

Renee Fournier, 28, was booked into Las Colinas women’s jail in Santee in connection with the death of 19-month-old Lucas Orlando at their apartment on Arnold Way in Alpine, according to sheriff’s officials.

She was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail pending arraignment, scheduled for Thursday afternoon.

About 1:45 p.m. on Jan. 11, deputies responding to an emergency at Fournier’s rental residence found her son gravely injured, said sheriff’s Lt. Kenneth Nelson.

Her boyfriend, 29-year-old Navy corpsman Brett Brown, told deputies Lucas had been hurt in a fall. Fournier was at work at the time, authorities said.

Brown had been watching the boy that day along with his girlfriend’s other child and two of his own from a former relationship, according to Nelson.

Paramedics took Lucas to Rady Children’s Hospital, where he died two days later.

Detectives investigating the fatality soon determined that the trauma the boy suffered was too severe to have occurred as Brown described it, the lieutenant said.

Brown, who was on military leave at the time of the child’s death, was arrested Jan. 14 at a Shelter Island hotel. He pleaded not guilty last week to murder and child abuse charges.

During Brown’s arraignment, Deputy District Attorney Chantal de Mauregne told Judge Patricia Cookson that the victim had multiple skull fractures and two broken bones, one each in an arm and a leg, that had been healing. The tot also had bruising on his body, the prosecutor said.

Brown faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted.