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DC woman charged with child abuse after baby dies in Virginia

The mother of a 2-year-old girl from the district has been charged with child abuse after the toddler was found dead Monday in a hotel room in Virginia Beach, according to the police and the prosecution.

Leandra Andrade, 38, is being held pending a bail hearing on Thursday. She is charged with child abuse with grievous bodily harm, according to prison records and a spokeswoman for the Commonwealth Attorney for the City of Virginia Beach.

Officials said she was represented by the Public Defender’s Office, which did not return a phone call or email seeking comment.

DC police say Andrade left the district with the toddler, identified by his father as Lanoix, last weekend following a custody hearing in DC Superior Court. Police said Andrade was found Monday morning in critical condition in the hotel room near the Virginia Beach waterfront. Police said the child was found dead in the room.

Virginia Beach police said autopsy results are pending and they are awaiting a decision on the child’s death. They said they were also trying to determine how her mother became ill.

Court records show a DC Superior Court judge on Friday granted temporary sole legal custody of Lanoix to his father, Fabio Enrique Andrade Jr., giving him the right to make decisions on his behalf, such as care medical and school. The judge granted temporary joint physical custody to the Andrades, which allowed Lanoix to be with his mother last weekend.

A full custody hearing was scheduled for November.

The girl’s identity has not been made public by Virginia Beach officials. But on Wednesday, Fabio Andrade released a statement through his attorney, Matt Andelman.

“My daughter Lanoix loved life and enjoyed making her friends and family smile,” the statement read. “I am devastated that the opportunity for Lanoix to continue to live a happy and loving life has been unnecessarily taken away from him.”

Fabio Andrade said in the statement that he had been fighting for months for full custody of Lanoix “in order to give my daughter the life she deserves”.

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