Toddler 'killed by family friend who used Covid as excuse for kid to sleepover'

A TODDLER was allegedly killed by a family friend who reportedly used Covid as an excuse for the girl to remain in her care for weeks after a Halloween sleepover.

Brandi Adeleke, 37, has been charged with murder and child abuse over the death of 15-month-old Meka Ducheneaux, who was found "unconscious and unresponsive" in the woman's North Dakota home in November last year.

The little girl spent four days on life support before being pronounced dead, according to Valley News Live.

Meka lived with her aunt, Amanda Carrillo, at the time of her death, but was spending time with Adeleke, who was a family friend, according to a Gofundme page set up to cover legal costs.

Adeleke, who often watched Carillo's children including Meka, had invited Meka over for a Halloween sleepover at her Fargo apartment, Carillo told local station KVLY.

When Carillo went to pick her niece up, Adeleke reportedly said that her apartment had been contaminated with the coronavirus and that the child needed to quarantine with her.

Weeks later, Adeleke allegedly visited Carillo at home and informed her that the little girl was ill and in hospital.

When Carillo arrived at the hospital, she allegedly found social services workers and cops with the lifeless toddler.

Carillo wrote on the page: "They had brown paper evidence bags and rulers to measure the wounds and evidence recording equipment.

"I instantly got sick to my stomach. The individual we trusted with Meka’s care kept telling me ‘she’s just sick, Amanda, she’s just sick.

"I spoke to the detective and it became clear that Meka wasn’t just sick, she had been horribly abused."

Earlier, when police responded to a call of a a girl "struggling to breathe", they arrived to find Meka "unresponsive and blue in the face", the police incident report alleges.

Adeleke allegedly told cops that the girl went underwater while taking a bath and, by the time she realized, the baby was unconscious, according to court documents.

She said she pinched and slapped the child to wake her up before the baby coughed and then became unresponsive again, according to the documents.

"First off, how high did you have the bath water? Second off, my niece knew how to sit down, she was already over a year. So I don’t believe that, not even a little bit," Carillo questioned.

Fargo Police say an autopsy revealed numerous blunt force injuries on Meka. 

Adeleke has been charged with murder and child abuse and remains on a $1million bail.

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