Mother charged in death of infant
Coroner's office says 31/2-week-old girl died of burns from microwave.
By Cathy Mong

Staff Writer

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

DAYTON — A 26-year-old mother was arrested Monday by Dayton police in the homicide of her 3½-week-old daughter, Paris Talley, on Aug. 30, 2005, a death officials said they believe was caused when the child was burned in a microwave oven.

China Arnold was picked up at her house, 3612 E. Second St., about 2:30 p.m. on a warrant for a charge of aggravated murder, Sgt. Gary White said. Arnold was taken to the Montgomery County Jail. The warrant was issued last week.

Ken Betz, director of the Montgomery County Coroner's Office, said, "We have reason to believe and scientific evidence to support that a microwave oven might have been involved in the death of this child." The cause of death was ruled a homicide at the time, by hyperthermia due to thermal injury.

The baby's death was only the second on record in the nation believed caused by microwave oven. A 20-year-old Virginia mother was convicted of involuntary manslaughter on Sept. 26, 2000, in the death of her 5-week-old son.

"That's what made this case so difficult," Betz said. "We're in an area where there's not a lot of scientific research on the effect of microwave on human beings."

Additional evidence recently came to light that helped prosecutors approve the arrest warrant, he said. "There were no external signs, like scalding water."

White said the mother had custody at the time of Paris' death. When Arnold brought her to Children's Medical Center on Aug. 30, 2005, "the baby was dead. The investigation commenced at that point," he said.

"The police department is satisfied we've helped bring some justice so far to Paris' homicide," White said.