Marian Taque Valle, 5 [Update]
Posted Feb. 19, 2012
Marian Taque Valle, a 5-year-old Latina, was declared brain dead Sunday, Feb. 19, four days after being found unresponsive in the 900 block of West 50th Street East in Vermont Square, according to Los Angeles County coroner's records.
[Editor's note: An earlier version of this post, based on information from the coroner's office, incorrectly identified the victim as Miriam Taque.]
Firefighters arrived at the child's home about 7:30 a.m. and discovered Marian and her sister, Lindsay, unconscious. Rescuers said they tried to resuscitate the girls and rushed them to Children's Hospital L.A.
Neighbor Dina Ceballos, 46, said she saw the two little girls being carried out by firefighters. Both were limp and colorless, she said.
Despite medical treatment, Lindsay, a 1-year-old Latina, died at the hospital. Marian remained in a coma, officials said.
Four days after the incident, Marian was pronounced brain dead. Doctors waited to take her off life support until organ donation arrangements could be made. She was taken off the machines Feb. 21.
The two girls' mother, Lorna Valle, a 32-year-old Latina, has been charged with murder in the drowning of Lindsay. Prosecutors are expected to amend the criminal complaint to reflect an additional murder charge.
Authorities said that Valle -- who is believed to have been battling mental illness or depression -- tried to drown her two daughters while her husband left their South L.A. home briefly to buy juice and milk.
She allegedly shoved her daughters face-first into a tub in their home, the Los Angeles Police Department said. Valle's husband told authorities he found the children unclothed, wet and unresponsive on the floor.
Preliminary coroner's records show Lindsay died from drowning. A cause of death has since been deferred pending additional laboratory tests. Results will not be available for at least six to eight weeks, officials said.
Autopsy results are still pending for Miriam.
Lorna Valle is being held in lieu of $2-million bail at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in downtown. Her next court appearance is scheduled for Feb. 24 at Los Angeles Municipal Court.
Anyone with additional information about the case is asked to contact Det. Matthew Spillane at (213) 486-0507. Those wishing to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.
[Updated Feb. 24: Mother accused of drowning daughters faces two murder charges]
-- Andrew Blankstein and Richard Winton