Local News

Toddler's Death Ruled Homicide

Posted July 4, 2007 11:54 a.m. EDT
Updated July 5, 2007 5:34 p.m. EDT

— 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."