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Police: Father, stepmother arrested for 5-year-old's death in Capitol Heights

Pradeline, 5, died from injuries due to blunt force trauma, according to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in D.C.

WASHINGTON — Editor's Note: The video above was published on Aug. 23, 2022, before the pair were arrested. 

Graphic Content Warning: The content below may be disturbing for some.  

A father and stepmother of a 5-year-old girl are now facing charges related to the child's death in Capitol Heights. 

Officials reported earlier this week that 5-year-old Pradeline Delinois was found unresponsive and taken to a D.C. hospital for help. Pradeline died from injuries due to blunt force trauma, according to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in D.C. The Prince George's County Police Department [PGPD] began investigating Pradeline's death as a homicide. 

Days later, PGPD arrested Pradeline's father Pradel Delinois, 44, and stepmother Ornelie Charles, 42, in connection to her death. 

RELATED: 5-year-old girl's death ruled a homicide in Capitol Heights, police say

In a press release Friday, PGPD said they believe the 5-year-old was injured while in the care of Delinois and Charles. Both have been charged with child abuse resulting in death and neglect of a minor. Charles faces an additional charge of assault. 

During questioning, Pradel informed authorities that the 5-year-old started to have stomach pain and nausea around a week prior to her death. The child was taken to a medical clinic where a prescription for Omemazole was filled. It was later learned that before receiving the medicine, Pradeline was also vomiting off and on and this persisted even while taken the medicine for treatment.

On the day of her death, Pradeline's 15-year-old step sister found her unresponsive. After Charles unsuccessfully attempted to wake the child by splashing water on her face, 911 was called and CPR was performed by the sister.

At the hospital, nursing staff observed a scratch above the child's left eye and bruising on the body consistent with child abuse.

Dr. Francisco Diaz of the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Washington D.C. performed the autopsy child and determined the manner of death to be homicide through multiple blunt force injuries. It was determined that the injuries were indications of abuse and not from vigorous CPR.

Pradeline was observed to be very underweight and wearing a soiled pull-up diaper further supported the signs of abuse, according to Diaz. The autopsy also reported trauma to the body including rib fractures, pulmonary contusions, adrenal gland contusions, lacerated liver, muscular contusions above the cranial cavity, blood in the abdominal and chest cavities, and multiple contusions on her left arm.

WUSA9 spoke with neighbors after officers found Pradeline, who said the child lived with her father and stepmother, along with a sister and infant child. It is unclear who those siblings are staying with now. 

Anyone with information is asked to call the PGPD Homicide Unit at 301-516-2512. Callers who wish to remain anonymous may call Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477), or go online at www.pgcrimesolvers.com, or use the P3 Tips app.

RELATED: Police find body during welfare check in Prince George's Co.

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