Cass Lake woman charged with murder of toddler

Published: Aug. 25, 2023 at 4:10 PM CDT
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CASS LAKE, MINN. (Valley News Live) - Court documents in filed in Cass County, Minn. allege a Cass Lake woman murdered her own child.

Court documents say that on Aug. 19 at around 9:30 pm, the Cass County Sheriff’s Office got a report of a child who had been run over by a car that left the scene. Deputies were told the child was run over and was not breathing. Life saving efforts were started, and the child was eventually flown to a Fargo hospital with several life threatening injuries. He died from a cardiac arrest event on Aug. 24 at 8:25 pm.

According to a press release from officials investigators believe the injuries sustained were the direct result of blunt force trauma through suspected child abuse and not from an automobile accident as initially reported.

The child was a 23-month-old boy. Court documents allege the child’s mother, Larena Jackson, 30, told deputies she had picked her child up down the street and thought he had been run over by a family member. Investigators later learned that family member was not in the area at the time. Officials say Jackson gave several conflicting stories about the incident. Blood was seen in different areas around the home. Documents say a deputy noted there were cleaning products around the house as well. The deputy noted there was no dry or wet blood on the child. He had a laceration on the top of his head, on his forehead, under his left eye, and a split lip. The lacerations are said to have been deep and actively bleeding.

Court documents allege Jackson admitted the child was not run over. She said she had been carrying him down the street and fell. However, Jackson’s home was searched and numerous areas of blood were found in a bedroom, along with a large amount of blood on a mattress. It’s noted a box spring was put on top of the mattress to cover up the blood. There were at least two indentations in the sheetrock of the bedroom wall. Officials say these were consistent with the shape of a toddler’s head. The indentations had blood splatter as well.

Jackson was arrested after hiding in a friend’s home on Aug. 22. She’s in custody at the Cass County Jail. Jackson is facing felony charges of 2nd Degree Murder, 1st Degree Assault, and Malicious Punishment of a child under 4 yr. Jackson is also facing a misdemeanor charge of Fleeing a Peace Officer. Her bail is set at $1 million without conditions or $500,000 with conditions.