Woman Arrested After 6-Year-Old Cousin Found Frozen to Death

Mercedes Mayfield was discovered outside her Minnesota apartment building last month.

rachel downer charged in death of 6-y-old cousin who froze to death in minn

Rachel Downer and unidentified girl


A 22-year-old Minnesota woman has been arrested and charged in the death of her 6-year-old cousin, who was found frozen to death outside her home in temperatures below freezing, the Daily News reports.

Rachel Downer is expected to be charged with second-degree manslaughter and felony neglect of a child, according to a statement from the Bemidji, Minn., police.

The child, Mercedes Mayfield, was found unconscious at the entrance to her apartment building the morning of Feb. 27, a day when the windchill factor drove down temperatures to -40 degrees in Bemidji, the statement says.

The first-grader, who was reportedly left in Downer’s care, was discovered by her mother and a neighbor, who immediately called 911. She was wearing a coat, boots, hat and mittens when emergency workers arrived.

She was taken to a local hospital, where she was pronounced dead, the result of hypothermia. Police are investigating how she got outside and how long she was there, but speculate that it may have been overnight.

Read more at the Daily News.

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