Wednesday: Suspects in Opelika toddler’s murder appear in court

Alabama News

OPELIKA, Ala. (WRBL) – An Opelika mother and her boyfriend accused of killing her two-year-old daughter appeared in court for the first time at the Lee County Justice Center Wednesday afternoon.

Chasity Baker, 28, and Jamario Mitchell, 28, are still being held on a $450,000 bond each.

Baker and Mitchell both indicated they will be hiring private attorneys to represent them.

The couple was arrested Monday, Nov. 15, after a postmortem exam revealed the toddler died from multiple blunt force trauma- including a broken collarbone, rib, fractured skull and brain bleed.

Forensic examiners say the injuries were recent and not accidental.

Baker and Mitchell told police the child was sick, and they checked on her throughout the night.

While they were the only two who had access to the child, they say they did not know how she was injured.

About the Case

Finding the Body

The body of the two-year-old was first discovered Friday, Nov. 12 after a police call came in at 7:10 a.m. in reference to an unresponsive child. The toddler was inside a home on Cherry Circle in Opelika, Coroner Bill Harris confirmed. Opelika Police, Opelika Fire and Rescue and EAMC EMS responded to the scene and found the child with no signs of life. Originally, Opelika Police shared the investigation of the child’s death was not suspicious at that point. However, the child’s body was taken to the Department of Forensic Sciences in Montgomery for a postmortem exam to determine the cause of death. A death investigation was assumed by the Opelika Police Department.

Arrest Made

The following Monday, Nov. 15, the mother and a male acquaintance were arrested in the murder of the two-year-old. This came after preliminary postmortem exam results were returned Nov. 12 and the two were developed as suspects in the investigation.

Chasity Umeko Baker, 28, was arrested with her live-in boyfriend Jamario Emanuel Mitchell, 28, both Opelika residents. The investigation developed the two as suspects and it was discovered Mitchell was not the child’s father however at the time of the child’s death, he was believed to be in a relationship with Baker. Baker and Mitchell were taken into custody and to be held at the Lee County Jail with bonds set for $450,000 each.

Postmortem Exam Results

The Lee County Coroner’s Office shared a news release with media outlets on Nov. 16 after the postmortem exam results came back. Details were limited in the news release however it was shared the child had died from multiple blunt force trauma. At this point in the investigation, the preliminary cause of death was ruled as homicide.

News 3 Continued to Gather Information

News 3 obtained court documents releasing additional details on the autopsy of the toddler. A deposition in the case indicated the toddler suffered blunt force trauma including a broken collarbone and left rib, a fractured skull, and a brain bleed. Forensic examiners discovered the injuries were recent and non-accidental due to the severity. Court documents also indicated Baker and Mitchell told police the two-year-old was sick and the two checked on her throughout the night however they did not know how she was injured.

Where to Submit Additional Information

The investigation is ongoing and those with information are encouraged to share by one of the following:

  • Detective Division at (334) 705-5220
  • Secret Witness Hotline at (334) 745-8665
  • Lee County Coroner’s Office at 334-737-3620
  • Tips can be submitted through our Opelika Police Mobile App

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