Man, mother of children charged in death of 2-year-old girl; alleged abuse of her siblings

New details in child death investigation

SCOTT COUNTY, Mo. (KFVS) - A man and woman are facing charges in the death of a two-year-old girl.

Charges against Raymond DeJournett, 25, from Benton, Mo., were amended on Wednesday, June 12. He was charged with child abuse resulting in death, endangering the welfare of a child, resulting in death, child abuse resulting in serious physical injury, an additional count of child abuse resulting in serious physical injury and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child resulting in serious physical injury.

Amanda Bramlett, 33, was charged with endangering the welfare of a child, resulting in death, and endangering the welfare of a child, resulting in serious physical injury, and an additional count of endangering the welfare of a child, resulting in serious physical injury.

Scott County Sheriff Wes Drury said it happened on Saturday, June 8 and the victim was two years old.

According to court documents, officers were dispatched to a home just outside of Benton on June 8 for a report of an unresponsive two year old. When the deputy entered the home, he reportedly saw what he believed to be bruises all over the child from the neck down to the knees.

The child was taken by ambulance to a Cape Girardeau hospital and was pronounced dead at 5:12 p.m.

According to court documents, the deputy said the adult who found the child was identified as Raymond “Bradley” DeJournett, who was watching the child, along with three other siblings in the home.

He allegedly said the child was eating pizza with her brother and had thrown up so he put her in the bath. DeJournett said that he had to go make a bottle, so he left the children alone for about three minutes. When he came back, he said the child “was not herself and she couldn’t talk, but could stand up with help."

According to court documents, DeJournett said he dried her off, and put clothes on her and that is when she immediately stopped breathing.

He reportedly said he started CPR and ran into the living room where he had a woman call 911 and he continued CPR until fire responders arrived.

The siblings in the home were interviewed.

According to court documents, one child stated that “daddy hurts him, his sister and brother.”

The documents state that the child said “daddy put them in the bathtub, and put sissy under water.” The child also said that “daddy held sissy under water and when she came up she was dead.”

While interviewing DeJournett, according to court documents, he became emotional and asked to talk to the child’s mother. She was brought into the room and he reportedly told her that this was a “terrible accident.” He allegedly said he was playing around with the children about holding their breath under water.

According to court documents, he said the two year old was only under water for four or five seconds, and that he did everything he could to save her.

The mother of the child was also interviewed.

According to court documents, she said she had left the house around 1:35 p.m. and when she left, everything was fine.

Deputies say she told them that DeJournett is the one that disciplines at the house, and he also handled the duties of the three oldest children.

The investigation continued and, according to the Scott County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, authorities learned about another child in the home with an injury.

That’s when the mother of the children, Amanda Bramlett, was arrested.

The children in the home were taken to be medically screened. According to court documents, it was found that another one of the children had a broken/fractured back.

An autopsy was performed on the two-year-old girl on Monday, June 10. The results showed she suffered broken ribs, as well as a severed duodenum. The duodenum was described as the first part of the small intestine, immediately beyond the stomach.

According to the autopsy results, the preliminary cause of death was said to be blunt force trauma to the abdomen.

On Tuesday, June 11, Bramlett and DeJournett were interviewed at the Scott County Sheriff’s Office.

According to court documents, Bramlett said she saw DeJournett throw one of the children against a wall in the home about a month ago. She allegedly said that’s probably how the child broke his back.

Authorities say Bramlett told them the child told her “daddy hurt him.” She allegedly said she didn’t do anything to intervene. She also said that the children in the home called DeJournett “daddy.”

Court documents state that Bramlett went on to say that DeJournett often does “wrestling moves” on the kids in the home. She described moves like a choke slam, a leg lock and said he “throws them around.”

Authorities say she also told them she had witnessed him hit the kids with the broken handle of a broom.

The investigation is ongoing.

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