By Calvin Palmer
A southern California mother, who claimed that an attacker knocked her out and abducted her 18-month-old daughter has been charged with the murder of her daughter.
Stacey Barker, 24, of Quartz Hill, Antelope Valley, near Lancaster, was charged with one count each of murder, assault on a child causing death, and child abuse.
Detectives said Barker allegedly suffocated the girl hours earlier and dumped her body in Sylmar.
“At this point, as best as we can determine, the infant died through suffocation at hands of the mother,” said Sheriff’s Lt Pat Nelson. “After her third or fourth version of events, we knew she wasn’t telling the truth, and we able to determine what happened. At this point, we believe she acted alone.”
Prosecutors allege willfully caused and permitted her daughter, Emma Leigh Barker, to be injured and harmed and the injury resulted in death. She was arrested last week at her grandparents’ home in Lancaster and is being held on $1 million bail.
When her daughter disappeared on March 18, Barker told police that an attacker had knocked her out and abducted her daughter.
She told detectives she was at a Lancaster park and had placed her daughter in her car seat when she was struck from behind. She woke up five hours later and several miles away and discovered Emma Leigh was missing.
Later Barker told detectives her daughter’s body was by the side of a road in Sylmar, near Interstate 5, and the child had died in an accident. The body was concealed by deep brush along a fence.
“Our belief is the child died in the early evening of March 18,” Nelson said.
[Based on a report by the Los Angeles Times.]