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Woman Charged with Felony Murder in September Death of 11-Month-Old Left in Vehicle

York-Poquoson Sheriff Ron Montgomery addresses the media regarding the case in September. (YouTube screengrab)

YORK COUNTY — A woman has been charged with felony murder in the death of an 11-month-old child left in a car for several hours in York County in September, according to the York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office.

On Sept. 12, the York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office investigated the death of the child and a dog who were left in a vehicle for several hours. Kristen Danielle Graham, a 40-year-old Seaford resident, was arrested the same day on one felony count of child neglect and one misdemeanor count of animal cruelty.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner recently released the results of the autopsy of the child, according to the York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office, and based upon the information in that report and consulting with the York-Poquoson Commonwealth’s Attorney, Sheriff’s Office Investigators obtained a warrant charging Graham with felony murder.

The York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office said in September it had responded to a call at approximately 4 p.m. on Sept. 12 to Bon Secours Mary Immaculate Hospital in Newport News after a man in his 80s walked into the emergency room and announced to staff that he had a deceased child in the back of his vehicle. Emergency room personnel found a black plastic trash bag in the hatch of the vehicle, and inside they discovered the child.

An investigation revealed at approximately 1 a.m. the night of Sept. 11, Graham put the child and a small dog in the back of the vehicle and transported them to Newport News. After stopping for some time at a friend’s place, Graham arrived home at approximately 8 a.m., rolled the windows up on the car and turned it off, leaving the dog and the child in the vehicle. Around 2-2:30 p.m. the afternoon of Sept. 12, she was awakened by a phone call and went outside to check on the child. Both the child and the dog were dead, the sheriff’s office said.

Graham turned herself into the Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail Thursday, Feb. 22, and was served with the warrant. She is being held without bond.

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