A story for every victim

Jasmine Granados, 1

Jasmine Granados, a 19-month-old Latina toddler, was found dead after firefighters were summoned about 2:50 a.m. Saturday, August 8 to a residence in the 1200 block of West 93rd Street in an unincorporated area near Westmont, officials said.

Jasmine, who was initially reported to be 2-years old, had been in foster care along with her mother, who is also a minor, according to authorities.

County coroner's office said Sunday that an autopsy was pending.

County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, who spoke with officials from the Department of Children and Family Services and the Sheriff's Department, said Jasmine apparently had bruises and scratches on her, but it is not clear whether those injuries caused her death.

Ridley-Thomas said the girl was not at her foster home at the time of her death. He said it was unclear why the girl was at the 93rd Street home, or who else was present.

He added that several children were living there, and that they had been taken into protective custody after Jasmine's death.

Children and Family Services Director Trish Ploehn said Sunday that the situation was "unusual" and her agency did not know if abuse or neglect were involved in Jasmine's death. "I have a lot of people looking at it," she said. "We need more information from the coroner about cause of death."

If Jasmine's death proves to be the result of abuse or neglect, she would be the third child under the department's care to have died under such circumstances in a month.

This is "an extremely urgent matter for the board to deal with," Ridley-Thomas said.L.A. county sheriff's officials did not have further details about the circumstances of the girl’s death. The Los Angeles County Fire Department said it responded to the location about 2:54 a.m. but did not release further details.

-- Molly Hennessy-Fiske and Ari B. Bloomekatz

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