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Daycare provider charged with murder after two-year-old girl's death ruled as homicide

Police have charged a Norfolk daycare provider with second-degree murder after a medical examiner ruled that a child in her care was murdered.

NORFOLK, Va. — The Chief Medical Examiner's Office in Norfolk has determined that a two-year-old girl was murdered after she was found unresponsive in the care of a daycare provider last year.

On August 18, 2020, police were sent to the 1300 block of Jennifer Street after learning about a child who was unresponsive at a home on that block.

First responders found a two-year-old girl inside the home and rushed her to the Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters. She died at the hospital.

A month after that incident, detectives arrested the girl's daycare provider -- 37-year-old Jessica A. Cherry.

Cherry initially faced charges that weren't connected to the child's death, but were related to "criminal activity" at the home on Jennifer Street.

Those charges were: 

  • Felony Attempted Malicious Wounding
  • Felony Abuse and Neglect of a Child (2 counts)
  • Child Endangerment (2 counts)

On Tuesday, police charged her with second-degree murder in the girl's death after the medical examiner ruled her death as a homicide.

Authorities haven't released details about how the child died yet. Cherry is being held at the Norfolk City Jail without bond.

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