Autopsy reveals 1-year-old died from 'battered child syndrome'

by: Ken Lemon Updated:

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KANNAPOLIS, N.C. —

An autopsy report released Wednesday reveals a little girl from Kannapolis died from injuries, consistent with battered child syndrome.
 
Channel 9 spent nearly four months asking why no one has been charged in Malaya Heun's death.


Read our past coverage:

New documents shed light on 15-month-old child’s death

Police: 15-month-old Kannapolis girl dies after assault


Her great-grandmother said it has been an agonizing four months.
     
Police have been waiting for the complete autopsy report, but they say they handed the case over to the District Attorney's office almost a month ago and it's up to the DA to decide if charges should be filed.
 
"I don't understand why anybody hasn't been charged,” Patricia Haney said.
     
Haney said she has suffered from anxiety since her 15-month-old great-granddaughter Malaya Heun was killed in January.
 
"It's really tore my nerves up.  I have been seeing a psychiatrist," Haney said.
    
A relative was babysitting the toddler when she suffered a hard blow to her stomach.
     
She died two days later in the hospital.
 
Police said the girl had been given an alcoholic beverage to drink. Autopsy results indicate she suffered abuse for weeks.
 
Some of her injuries had already started to heal.
 
"She couldn't defend herself,” Haney said.
 
Haney wanted someone charged immediately.
 
"Somebody needs to get off of whatever they are doing and get this person behind bars,” she said.
 
Kannapolis police said they have thoroughly investigated this case.

"You stay awake at night doing everything you think you possibly can do to give justice to this victim,” Sgt. Justin Smith said.
         
Smith believes one person caused all of the injuries.
 
"Everything has been turned over to DA.  I do know that my investigators have done an extensive investigation,” Smith said.
         
 Police said it is up to the district attorney to determine if charges should be filed.
 
Channel 9 called Rowan County DA Brandy Cook to ask if her office plans to file charges. She said she cannot comment on pending or ongoing cases.