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6-Year-Old Girl Dies Trying to Stop Fight

December 27, 2002

CHICAGO (AP) _ A 6-year-old girl was beaten to death when she tried to break up a fight between her mother and her mother’s boyfriend, police said.

Alma Manjarrez suffered bruises over much of her body in the beating early Wednesday, police said. The girl’s 26-year-old mother did not immediately seek help, waiting until 3:30 a.m. to dial 911, police spokesman Thomas Donegan said.

Alma died at Christ Hospital and Medical Center in Oak Lawn.

The girl’s mother also was injured and was treated at Stroger Hospital. Police said her injuries were not life-threatening.

The mother’s 24-year-old boyfriend was being questioned by investigators but no charges had been filed early Thursday. Police had no further details about the dispute that allegedly led to the slaying.

Alma’s mother also had a 1-month-old who was taken into custody by DCFS.

Child welfare investigators had interviewed Alma and her mother in November about a similar incident where the girl was injured while protecting her mother from a male family member, said Mary Ellen Eads, DCFS associate deputy director for Cook County.

Police were called to break up that incident, and the young girl needed medical treatment, Eads said. Her mother, whose name is not being released, also was considered a victim in that incident.

Investigators determined that Alma was not in danger because the relative was no longer there, Eads said.

In September, someone reported seeing Alma with two black eyes, Eads said. She said investigators were not able to find the family for questioning.

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