Mother Arrested on Suspicion of Killing Baby

TIMES STAFF WRITER

A 24-year-old mother, suspected of brutally beating her 3-week-old baby girl, was arrested Thursday on suspicion of murder after the child recently died, police said.

Kongsamay Tran, of Garden Grove, originally was charged with willful cruelty and child abuse after her daughter was admitted to a hospital in May 1995 with severe injuries, Garden Grove Police Sgt. Mike Handfield said.

The child died Saturday after 10 months at a hospital in Riverside County.

During the past week, Tran went through preliminary hearings for the original charges of child abuse. But after her daughter's death, Tran was arrested Thursday at her apartment on suspicion of murder.

According to police, Tran and her husband took their daughter to Garden Grove Hospital and Medical Center on May 12. Hospital officials called police after they found the child had suffered broken legs, a fractured shoulder and major head injuries that damaged her motor skills, respiratory system and growth.

"Fundamentally, the baby was in a chronic vegetative state," Handfield said. "The hospital staff said she was a real sick little kid and essentially had gone blind and had no head control."

Tran told police that she was alone with the baby on May 11, but denied battering her. She told investigators that she took her daughter to the hospital the next day because the baby had convulsions.

Tran is expected to be arraigned Monday at Municipal Court in Westminster.

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