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Vt. mom arrested in homicide of toddler - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Vt. mom arrested in homicide of toddler

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Peighton Geraw Peighton Geraw
Nytosha Laforce Nytosha Laforce
BURLINGTON, Vt. -

Fourteen-month-old Peighton Geraw died April 4 from trauma to his head and neck. The medical examiner ruled the death a homicide. Now, the baby's mother, Nytosha Laforce, 28, is being blamed for his death. She will answer to second-degree murder charges.

"These are incredibly difficult cases. These are cases that nobody takes lightly. In fact, these are cases that should be and are the state's top priority from a criminal justice standpoint," Chittenden County State's Attorney T.J. Donovan said.

Investigators say a Department for Children and Families social worker was at the home on Malletts Bay Avenue in Winooski just an hour before Peighton died to investigate abuse claims. They say the DCF worker noted bruises on the toddler's neck, but the child was not removed from the home.

Peighton's death and the death of Rutland county toddler Dezirae Sheldon in February have prompted multiple investigations into DCF policies.

"Well, I think that there are multiple investigations ongoing right now. In fact, the Vermont state police is looking at the DCF involvement in this case and we're going to wait for the Vermont state police to do their investigation. I am sure it's going to be a thorough review of all the evidence, and once that's complete, I think we'll have a better sense on whether or not there needs to be some major policy changes," Donovan said.

Police and prosecutors are not releasing any additional details about what they think happened or why. We should learn more Wednesday in court documents after Laforce is arraigned in Chittenden County Criminal Court.

Laforce is already in jail for a parole violation on an assault charge and for smuggling drugs and alcohol into a correctional facility.

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