FARGO — A Fargo woman could face life in prison if convicted of killing a 15-month-old child in her care.
Brandi Lynn Adeleke, 37, was charged Friday, Jan. 15, in Cass County District Court with a Class AA felony of murder and a Class A felony of child abuse. Court documents do not identify the child, but the Fargo Police Department previously confirmed that Meka Ducheneaux was the child who died several days after being found unresponsive on Nov. 20 in a south Fargo apartment.
Adeleke called 911 to report the child was struggling to breathe, according to a criminal complaint. Police questioned Adeleke about suspicious bruising, which she claimed came from lifesaving efforts, the complaint said.
The woman said she gave the child a bath to help with a fever the toddler had for several days, according to court documents. She left the child unattended, and the girl went under water for an unknown but brief period of time, court documents alleged.
Adeleke said the child was coughing, so she gave her a rescue breath, the complaint said. Later, she gave the girl a cup of juice, and that’s when she became unresponsive, the woman told police.
“She said she tried to wake (Meka) by slapping her face and pinching her face to startle her awake,” the complaint said.
Meka’s death was ruled a homicide from numerous blunt force injuries, according to court documents detailing the results of an autopsy that came back Wednesday.
The child’s family said on a GoFundMe page the girl was left in the care of a trusted friend while her father was in jail.
Adeleke was arrested Thursday night, according to the Fargo Police Department. Adeleke requested that she be held on $1,000 bail and house arrest instead as she had just started a new job, but was instead held on $1 million.