Crime
News Crime

Autopsy: Girl, 2, was beaten to death

A 2-year-old girl from Chicago’s South Side was remembered by neighbors as happy, energetic and healthy Sunday night, not yet a day after she died.

Layla Stewart, of the 2000 block of West 69th Place in the West Englewood neighborhood was pronounced dead at 2:12 a.m. Sunday morning. She died from multiple injuries sustained in a beating, and her death was ruled a homicide, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

According to a police report, a cousin who was babysitting fed Layla a hot dog Saturday night, after which the girl began vomiting and complaining of stomach pains.

The girlfriend of Layla's father gave the girl Pepto-Bismol, and she and Layla's father left for a party, according to the report.

When they returned from the party, the girl was unresponsive, according to the report.

The child was taken to Holy Cross Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

A doctor who examined her found bruising "throughout her body" but told police the bruising did not seem to be recent, according to the report.

Several neighbors said that their children would often play with Layla and her two older siblings. Layla’s mother died less than a year ago, Chastity Meacham, who lives on the same block as the Stewarts, said, and Layla’s father “busted his butt to make sure (his children) didn’t go without.”

Meacham, 20, said her four-year-old daughter would often play at the Stewart home and that she’s shocked that Layla, who she saw just days ago, is gone.

“She was a little, happy baby,” Meacham said. “(She and her siblings) had a lot of energy. I can’t grasp that – and they just buried her mama.”

Meacham said the last time she saw Layla, the little girl seemed healthy. She said Layla’s father would bring her and her siblings to a daycare in a house across the street every day and commute hours to work.

No one was yet in custody in connection with the homicide, Purkiss said. Police are investigating the incident as a homicide.

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services is investigating allegations of neglect against Layla’s father, said Jimmie Whitelow, a DCFS spokesman.

The office has not had any previous contact with the family. Other children in the family are in the care of relatives, Whitelow said.

Tribune reporter Naomi Nix contributed.

Chicagobreaking@tribune.com

Twitter: @ChicagoBreaking

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
Related Content
  • Tribune photo illustration

  • Chicago sues red light camera firm for $300 million

    Chicago sues red light camera firm for $300 million

    Mayor Rahm Emanuel's administration has sued Chicago's former red light camera operator, Redflex Traffic Systems, for more than $300 million on grounds the entire program was built on a $2 million bribery scheme at City Hall that has already led to federal corruption convictions.

  • Marrow's 'The Gold Standard' raises the Chicago rock bar

    Marrow's 'The Gold Standard' raises the Chicago rock bar

    The four musicians in Marrow know quite a bit about bringing diverse influences to the table. After all, three of them, singer-guitarist Liam Kazar, singer-keyboardist Macie Stewart and bassist Lane Beckstrom were in Kids These Days, a now-defunct septet that combined jazz, funk, rap and rock in...

  • The Kids These Days family tree

    The Kids These Days family tree

    From its 2009 beginnings to its 2013 demise, Chicago's Kids These Days seemed like one of the most promising acts the city had seen in years. While the band split up at the height of its hype, its members have since gone on to do bigger and better things—seriously impressive considering the hip-hop/rock/jazz...

  • Solid 'Gold': How ex-Kids These Days members came back stronger as Marrow

    Solid 'Gold': How ex-Kids These Days members came back stronger as Marrow

    After the dissolution of Kids These Days, the much-buzzed about Chicago fusion-jazz-rock-rap septet that split in spring 2013 just a few months after releasing its only album, “Traphouse Rock,” some of its members spent what seems like all of 20 minutes bandless. "We were driving back from the...

  • Mr Twin Sister's 'In the House of Yes' is one of last year's hidden treasures

    Mr Twin Sister's 'In the House of Yes' is one of last year's hidden treasures

    Welcome to RedEye's "Song of the Day," an ongoing feature where music reporter Josh Terry or another RedEye staff member highlights something they're listening to. Some days the track will be new, and some days it will be old. No matter what, each offering is something you should check out. Check...

  • GrubHub's weekend customer-support issues made people hangry

    GrubHub's weekend customer-support issues made people hangry

    Technical difficulties at GrubHub and Seamless over the weekend drove hordes of hangry would-be customers to air their grievances on social media. The food ordering and delivery sites, which merged in 2013 and use GrubHub’s back-end technology, errantly accepted payments on Saturday evening without...

  • One dead in Heart of Chicago after being shot by police

    One dead in Heart of Chicago after being shot by police

    A 29-year-old man died after being shot by police on the Lower West Side early Saturday, police said.

Comments
Loading
75°