When a 4-year-old girl became unresponsive last week, her Westlake babysitter opted to use public transportation instead of calling 911 to get her to a hospital, Los Angeles police said. Not long after, doctors pronounced the little girl dead.
Now the baby sitter, 53-year-old Vanessa Denise Hawkins Scott, is charged with murder, assault on a child causing death and child abuse. She pleaded not guilty Tuesday and is being held in lieu of $1.1-million bail. The county coroner determined the girl died from blunt abdominal trauma.
Police said they are also awaiting the results of a toxicology screening.
Meanwhile, detectives are trying to determine why Mya Migneault was left in Hawkins Scott’s care. The mother was out of state at the time and had “no hand in this,” said police Lt. Craig Herron.
According to relatives, the girl’s mother was with her fiancé in the South when she got the news about her daughter. They say the mother’s distraught, but hasn’t elaborated on how long she left Mya with the baby sitter and why. The family originally hails from Orlando, Fla.
“All I can tell you is that Mya was my whole life,” said the girl’s grandfather, Gary Greenberg, 59, who now lives in Texas. “She never did anything. She was a perfect angel.”
Greenberg has multiple sclerosis and said he used to have Mya ride with him in his scooter every day to Walmart. Clerks there knew her and so did all the construction workers they’d pass along the way.
“When I was in intensive care, Mya was my hope, Mya was the reason I’m living now,” he said.
The 4-year-old loved "Mickey Mouse" and "Dora the Explorer," said Greenberg’s wife, Katherine Bartholdi.
Hawkins Scott is due back in court April 7.