Local News

Toddler's Death Ruled Homicide

Posted July 4, 2007
Updated July 5, 2007

— A 2-year-old Harnett County girl's death is being investigated as a homicide after an autopsy determined she died of blunt-force trauma.

The live-in boyfriend of Miracle McLean’s mother rushed the child to the Anderson Creek Fire Department’s station Monday, and rescue workers rushed her to Fort Bragg, but she was pronounced dead at Womack Army Medical Center, authorities said.

Miracle was in cardiac arrest when the boyfriend, whose identity has been withheld, arrived at the station about a mile from her home, authorities said.

Investigators have said very little about the investigation and have not identified any suspects. A sheriff's department spokesman said no arrests were expected Wednesday.

Maj. Gary McNeill, with the Harnett County Sheriff's Office, confirmed that the initial report had been that the child drowned.

The boyfriend and the girl's mother, Sheteka McDougald, are cooperating in the investigation, authorities said.

Neither neighbors nor relatives could tell WRAL thecouple's whereabouts Wednesday. Neighbors said they have not seen McDougald at her mobile home on Jersey Lane since Monday.

Relatives said the child's 3-year-old sister, Zahane, is with her mother.

Harnett County Sheriff’s Office investigators spent much of Tuesday talking with neighbors to build a time line to account for what happened. They initially identified the child as Miracle McDougald, but her father,  Sherron McLean, of Greensboro, later said the child bears his last name.

McLean said Wednesday he was unsure of the circumstances of his daughter's death.

"As far as what happened here, I don't know nothing about that," McLean said. "I'm just trying to get this behind me right now."

"I know she's in a better place, now, so really I ain't got nothing to worry about. She's away from all this madness," he continued. "Right now, I want to focus on my other daughter and get her home."


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  • spazman Jul 5, 2007

    OH YEAH if someone is guilty i hope they get more than 15 days

  • spazman Jul 5, 2007

    POOR LITTLE GIRL,Thats all from me since i cant think of something nice to say

  • jewel08 Jul 5, 2007

    merrywidow.....I am having a hard time with your remarks. The inuendo that non-athiests do good things for brownie points for a deity in the sky.....crock indeed......
    I feel strongly for your pain on your losses, but have seen athiests turn back to God for comfort....so why not have the same beliefs before tragedy/need for comfort??

  • jeebk04 Jul 5, 2007

    Additionally, unless you know this family personally......such remarks as uneducated and father wasn't involved enough are really unfair and downright mean. IMHO

  • jeebk04 Jul 5, 2007

    There are stages of grief, and my opinion is, that this father is in the initial phase which is denial. I do not believe anyone has a right to pick apart and judge anything he says about his child's passing. Regardless of whether you have lost a child or not. Everybody deals with grief differently. And, everyone's situation is completely different.

  • serenitynow Jul 5, 2007

    I too thought the Father's comment was insensitive. You can't put the loss of a child behind you just like that. My twin died 23 years ago (3 weeks before our 8th birthday) and my Mom still hasn't "put this behind her". My assumption would be that maybe he didn't play a major role as a Father in Miracle's life, so it's easier for him to just "move on".

  • isabella731 Jul 5, 2007

    I truly hope that this isn't a case of a woman putting a man ahead of her own children. I don't care WHO it is, if anything happens to one of my kids, he's out and he stays out. I am glad that I have been married to the father of my children for 30 years, but if he had been suspected of harming one of my kids, HE'D have been out too! I pray for this family because if anyone needs it most, they do.

  • OALA Jul 5, 2007

    Regardless of any persons religious beliefs, this is a very sad story. As for the father...death is a difficult thing to "move on" from. May this child's family find comfort and peace.

  • CGroh Jul 5, 2007

    WOW... there are some selfish people around us, this started out as comments about the early loss fo a very young life, and is now a religious spat. "blunt-force trauma: The term itself is used to refer to the precursory trauma, from which there is further development of more specific types of trauma, such as contusions, abrasions, lacerations, and/or bone fracturing."
    Blunt-force trauma has nothing spacifilcally to do with the head... or being hit, it is trauma with following injuries that usually cause death.

    It is sad that this happend with medical and technical advances, who ever is responsible for this incident they will pay, and until then... MAY YOUR SOUL BURN!!!

  • ebny363 Jul 5, 2007

    Ladyblue: These are uneducated young folks who really need guidance but don't want any. The sad thing is that these 2 little girls were dependant upon their Mother's protection. I'm praying for all of them and hoping this situation will be a learning experience for all young folks.