Couple pleads not guilty to murder in daughter’s death

Local

SAN DIEGO – A City Heights couple accused in the death of their 3-month-old daughter pleaded not guilty Monday to murder charges.

Brandon Ivan Copeland, 21, and Elizabeth Reneedawn Ucman, 22, were arrested Wednesday at a home in the 4400 block of Maple Street.

Police were called to the home at 11:18 p.m. on a report that the baby, later identified as Delilah, was unresponsive and in need of medical attention, according to San Diego police Lt. Andra Brown.

Paramedics took the child to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead, Brown said, and her parents were subsequently arrested.

Police did not release the child’s cause of death or disclose what might have led to the alleged infanticide, and no details were disclosed during the couple’s brief Monday afternoon arraignment.

Copeland and Ucman remain in custody without bail, though a hearing was set for Monday to address their bail status.

A family friend spoke with FOX 5 Monday outside of the court building, saying after the baby’s birth, the child’s great aunt was given custody because social services deemed the parents unfit to take care of their daughter at the time.

The great aunt had the girl for about a month, according to the family friend, then the baby was given back to the parents after they cleaned up their home. She says the great aunt was very sad to let the baby go, pleaded to keep her and she worried for the girl’s safety after going back to her parents.

FOX 5’s Jason Sloss contributed to this report.

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