Police say toddler likely beaten with metal pipe

Police said a 23-year-old woman accused of killing a toddler earlier this month probably beat the child with a metal pipe, her arrest report revealed Friday.

Mariann Harris was booked at the San Bernardino County jail in California on Wednesday and will be extradited to Las Vegas on several charges, including murder and child abuse with a deadly weapon.

According to the report, 14-month-old Dyon Johnson's body was cold and glassy-eyed when paramedics arrived at Harris' downtown apartment complex just after midnight Aug. 13.

Dyon had been dead for "some time" before Harris called 911, the report said.

Authorities found a metal pipe in the kitchen that had been removed from a bar stool, the report said.

Harris accused police of bringing the pipe into her home, but officers said the pipe already was in the apartment when officers responded, the report said.

A doctor at University Medical Center said Dyon's body and face were covered with fresh bruises and some older wounds that appeared to be healing.

Harris was the girl's godmother and had been her caretaker for several days.

A neighbor told police they witnessed Harris striking the girl several days before her death. The neighbor said Harris also routinely struck her own three children, the report said.

Harris initially told Dyon's mother, Jannett Simms, that the girl had fallen off a bunk bed. She later changed her story and said Dyon had fallen down the stairs, the report said.

Simms told the Review-Journal earlier this month she was devastated by her child's death.

"God needed a pure soul for an emergency, and she's on a bigger task than me," she said.

Contact reporter Mike Blasky at mblasky@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0283.


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