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Mom Charged in Toddler's Death
Oskaloosa police said Tuesday a woman has been arrested and charged in connection with the death of an 18-month-old girl,
Alicia Marie Ritenour, 20, was charged with first-degree murder. She is being held in the Mahaska County Jail pending bail of $25,000.
Ritenour is the mother of the girl who died, Ava Ritenour.
Police found the girl dead inside Apartment 224 at the Southern Hills Apartment Complex in Oskaloosa on Jan. 24. She had been dead for "a significant period of time" when found by law enforcement.
Police said an autopsy determined the cause of death to be trauma to the head and the death was classified as a homicide.
Authorities said "a witness has stated that he heard a loud thump during the middle of the previous night coming from the room where the infant sleeps while the mother was alone in the room with the infant."
Authorities said their investigation of the case is ongoing.