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Toddler found dead was in foster care

Two-year-old Jasmine Granados, whose body was found in an Athens house early Saturday, had been living in a foster home along with her mother, who was also a minor, L.A. County officials say.

August 10, 2009|Molly Hennessy-Fiske and Ari B. Bloomekatz

A 2-year-old girl who was found dead in Athens this weekend had been in foster care along with her mother, who is also a minor, authorities said Sunday.

The girl, who was identified as Jasmine Granados, was found after firefighters were summoned about 2:50 a.m. Saturday to a residence in the 1200 block of West 93rd Street. Officials with the Los Angeles County coroner's office said Sunday that an autopsy was pending.

Meanwhile, the circumstances of the girl's death remained murky.

County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, who spoke with officials from the Department of Children and Family Services and the Sheriff's Department, said Jasmine apparently had bruises and scratches on her, but it is not clear whether those injuries caused her death.

Ridley-Thomas said the girl was not at her foster home at the time of her death. He said it was unclear why the girl was at the 93rd Street home, or who else was present.

He added that several children were living there, and that they had been taken into protective custody after Jasmine's death.

Children and Family Services Director Trish Ploehn said Sunday that the situation was "unusual" and her agency did not know if abuse or neglect were involved in Jasmine's death. "I have a lot of people looking at it," she said. "We need more information from the coroner about cause of death."

If Jasmine's death proves to be the result of abuse or neglect, she would be the third child under the department's care to have died under such circumstances in a month.

This is "an extremely urgent matter for the board to deal with," Ridley-Thomas said.

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molly.hennessy-fiske @latimes.com

ari.bloomekatz@latimes.com

Times staff writer Garrett Therolf contributed to this report.

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