A woman held in the Canadian County Jail since January of 2016 on charges she killed the child she was baby-sitting has died, Sheriff Chris West said.
West said Lesley Hendrix collapsed while taking a shower at the jail Sunday evening. She was taken by ambulance to a hospital.
“She expired at the hospital,” West said.
The sheriff said Hendrix collapsed at 2:30 p.m. He said an ambulance was called at 2:39.
Hendrix was 32 years old when she was charged with the death of Isabella Little Elk, the 23-month-old child she was caring for at her home.
The state Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the death was caused by blunt force trauma to the child’s head and could only have been caused by abuse and only during the time the child was in the care of Hendrix.
Hendrix was arrested and charged about a month after the child’s death. She was scheduled to stand trial, but the proceedings were delayed. It is believed Hendrix was the longest held inmate at the Canadian County Jail at the time of her death.
At a preliminary hearing that bound Hendrix over for trial, Dawn Little Elk testified she had dropped her children off with Hendrix on the morning of Nov. 18, 2015. She received a text message while at work to contact Hendrix at about 11 a.m., stating, “Call me, it’s an emergency.”
By the time Little Elk received the message, her daughter already was at an El Reno hospital. She later was transferred to Children’s Hospital at OU Medical Center, where she died the next day.
Little Elk testified the child did have a small “fading” bruise on her forehead, which had occurred during the previous days from her falling. However, when she arrived at the hospital, her face had a “weird” bruise and it appeared that her lip was swollen, Little Elk told the judge.
“She never regained consciousness,” she said.
Little Elk also said she had been taking her children to stay with Hendrix for about a year, and that her daughter had previously been injured when she was struck by a ladder that had tumbled over. That incident occurred in June, she said.
Little Elk said that Hendrix lived at the home with her husband and two children, but was alone when she dropped her children off.
According to court documents, Hendrix called 911 at about 10:30 a.m. and said that a child in her care was breathing but would not wake up.
When emergency personnel arrived, the child was taken to the El Reno hospital, where an MRI showed a “brain bleed,” court documents show.
According to doctors who examined the child, her injuries could only have been caused by abuse.
Dr. Ryan Brown told authorities there was no way the injuries could have occurred in the family home and that her symptoms included being lethargic, vomiting and seizures. He said based on the symptoms, the injuries could have only occurred while she was with Hendrix, the documents show.
An autopsy showed the child died from a subdermal hematoma caused by blunt force trauma.
Note: Terry Groover of the Yukon Review contributed to this story.