Homicide of Toddler Rattles Western New York Community

Homicide can often be unsettling to the public and difficult to understand. Moreover, when the homicide victim is a defenseless toddler, the local community could be left rattled. This is the case with the death of 16-month-old Nayla Hodnett, who died early Thursday morning as a result of blunt force trauma. Police are investigating the beating death of the Jamestown, NY toddler and conducting interviews with relatives and friends who might have information related to the circumstances surrounding the young girl’s death.

Authorities have stated that they consider the toddler’s mother and her boyfriend as persons of interest in the homicide investigation and added that Chautauqua County Child Protective Services have become involved in the matter. This is due to the fact that another child resided in the household where the incident occurred. Child Protective Services (CPS) have taken custody of a 3-year-old boy who was also in the house at the time of the incident. The child has been placed with other relatives at this time.

Details surrounding the homicide of a toddler that has left a Western New York community rattled remain unclear. Hodnett was reportedly at a home on Newland Avenue when an incident occurred Wednesday morning or afternoon. It is believed that the child was in the care of parents or guardians when the incident resulting in the trauma occurred. The toddler’s mother later brought her to the emergency room at WCA Hospital in Jamestown on Wednesday evening around 8:45 p.m. The young girl presented with injuries that were determined to be caused by blunt force trauma. Hospital personnel then transferred the girl to Women and Children’s Hospital in Buffalo, NY, where the toddler died early Thursday morning following surgery. Additionally, authorities have not disclosed the whereabouts of the mother’s boyfriend was at the time of the incident.

While such an occurrence in the local community is not unprecedented, it is not considered commonplace. Authorities contend that this is the first occurrence in approximately five or six years in Jamestown that a child has died in the custody of parents or guardians. In an effort to determine how this incident occurred, police have called upon the public for assistance. They have approached the public for information from anybody who might have received details regarding the circumstances related to this tragedy. Police have theorized that the people who had custody of the toddler could have reached out to someone for help when the incident occurred. Authorities are extremely eager to speak with anyone who might possess information regarding this tragedy, so they can successfully reconstruct the sequence of events leading up to and in the aftermath of the tragedy.

Investigators continue to determine the details surrounding the homicide of a toddler that has left a Western New York community rattled. Police have speculated that interviews with informed parties could continue through the end of the week. Additionally, authorities have taken measures to obtain cell phone records of individuals who could be connected to the case. Moreover, Jamestown police officials suspect that the persons responsible for this reached out to someone either via text message or telephone and possibly described the sequence of events that did occur in an attempt to seek help. At this time, details surrounding the toddler’s blunt force trauma death remain undetermined, the homicide investigation is ongoing, and no suspects have been taken into custody.

By Leigh Haugh

Washington Times
Jamestown Post-Journal

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