Arrest made in 1-year-old girl's death in Dickson - WKRN News 2

Arrest made in 1-year-old girl's death in Dickson

Posted: Updated: March 7, 2013 06:19 PM
Edward Benesch Edward Benesch
Somara Smith Somara Smith
DICKSON, Tenn. -

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has made an arrest in the death of a baby girl Thursday afternoon.

TBI spokesperson Kristin Helm told Nashville's News 2 they were notified by Dickson police around 7:45 a.m. that an unresponsive 18-month-old child was dropped off at her great aunt's home.

The child, Somara Smith, had noticeable trauma to her head, back and chest, and the man said that he fallen on her.

Her great aunt immediately called 911 to report the child was not breathing. When EMS arrived, the girl had already died.

The man has been identified as Edward Benesch, the boyfriend of the child's mother.

He was taken into police custody shortly after and is charged with reckless homicide and child abuse.

Authorities said it is believed that the abuse occurred at his home.

Benesch's bond is set at $75,000.

Benesch is being held in the Hickman County Jail instead of the Dickson County Jail where Smith's biological father is still incarcerated.

Somara's biological father, Edward Mays, is in jail on unrelated charges.

Somara was one of six children. The other children have since been placed in DCS custody.

"Those kids they were like mine, you know. I was there for them when they needed someone. I did what I could do," paternal cousin Nina Overton said.

Overton also told Nashville's News 2 that she took photographs of Somara when she noticed scratches on her face two days ago.

She also said that the children have been in DCS's custody before.

Her mother, Helena "Jill" Smith, was in jail for child support violation, but bonded out Thursday evening.

An autopsy is scheduled to be performed to determine an exact cause of death.


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