Stepmother charged in Danville toddler's death

Stepmother charged in Danville toddler's death (Photo: Oneida County Sheriff's Department/WAOW)

RHINELANDER, Wis. (WSET) - The stepmother of a 20-month-old Danville boy is charged with reckless homicide in the child's death.

The incident happened in Oneida County, Wisconsin.

Twenty-eight-year-old Ellen Tran is being held on $50,000 cash bond in the death of Avery Edward.

A criminal complaint says the Danville toddler died of blunt force trauma to his head. The complaint says Tran told Avery's father the boy fell in the shower but a child abuse expert disagreed the injuries could have happened that way, according to a criminal complaint filed Tuesday.

According to the complaint, the boy's father told investigators he picked him up from the child's mother in Virginia on April 1 for a visitation. The father said the boy "had not been bonding well" with the stepmother.

When asked by investigators about the fall, Tran said she could not remember how it happened, the complaint said.

Avery was rushed to St. Mary's Hospital Friday and later flown to St. Joseph's Hospital in Marshfield where he died.

ABC 13 confirmed a doctor at the hospital said she was concerned about child abuse because the "injuries did not match the information being provided by the mother," the complaint said.

An attorney for the toddler's biological mother told investigators the child had some bruising when he returned from a visit with the father 10 months ago, the complaint said.

Tran is charged with second-degree reckless homicide and appeared in Oneida County Circuit Court Tuesday. Tran's attorney told the judge they planned to file a motion seeking dismissal of the charge for lack of probable cause.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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