Woman Arrested Following Young Stepchild’s Death

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A woman has been arrested following the death of her 5-year-old stepchild.

Rae Von Smith, 23, was arrested on suspicion of first-degree endangering the welfare of a minor.

Fort Smith police were called to Mercy Hospital at approximately 2 a.m. Friday regarding the suspicious death of the 5-year-old, according to Fort Smith police.

According to a probable cause statement, Smith said the child fell down a set of stairs on January 9 and suffered a cut to the right eye, cut behind the ear and multiple carpet burns to the face and body.

The child’s lower teeth also penetrated the lip. Smith says she treated the child’s injuries with a shower and cleaned the wounds with alcohol. 

Smith says that the child fell down the stairs again the following day but no injuries were noted. Smith says the child picked the wound on the eye and it was opened up again.

The child was laid down at 4 p.m., according to the probable cause affidavit. Smith laid down with the child at 6 p.m. and woke around 1 a.m. to the child not breathing.

Smith denied any medical treatment for two days after the falls, saying she treated the wounds herself and they didn’t have insurance.

Smith is currently being held in the Sebastian County Jail. 

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