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Neighbors react to child's death in Phenix City neighborhood

PHENIX CITY, Ala - News Three has new details in the death of a one-year-old in Phenix City.

Russell County Coroner, Arthur Sumbry, Jr. tells News Three the child's name is Cataleya Brooks. The coroner confirms she is a twin.

Phenix City Police say they responded to the home on Sommerset Dr. Wednesday, February 21. 

Police say they received the autopsy report from the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences the next day. They say the child died due to blunt force.

They say they brought in the child's father, Sha'Quel Brooks for questioning, and proceeded to arrest him and charge him with murder.

Neighbors say the Sommerset community is peaceful, and they are shocked by this story.

"They just kept to themselves. Good neighbors-- can't complain about them,” says Margaret Van Horn.

The Van Horn family lives just across the street from where the incident occurred. 

"I had no idea what had happened, saw it at 6:30 that morning, all the cars, ambulances, and police cars. I didn't know what happened until neighbors across the street saw it on channel three and called and told us," she says.

Another neighbor tells News Three other children lived in the home. She informed News Three the little girl was a twin, which we confirmed with the coroner.

The woman preferred to go unnamed, but says she is still shocked.

"I know that it happens, but you look at the people around you and don't think it's going to happen right here, but yeah, it happens."

Brooks's family turned down an interview, but tell News Three that Brooks loved his children, and they believe he is innocent.

Phenix City Police say Brooks is currently at Russell County Jail. They say the case is still under investigation, and there could be more charges.
 


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