UPDATE: Pair of scissors being tested as weapon in toddler's murder


News 12 First at Five / Tuesday, May 7, 2013

APPLING, Ga. (WRDW) -- New details are coming to light about the murder of a toddler in Columbia County.

The coroner is now saying he believes 2-year-old Sky Allen was stabbed to death with a pair of scissors by her mother, 29-year-old Marina Middlebrooks.

It all started at the scene of a wreck in Appling, but soon, deputies realized the wreck was just the tip of the iceberg.

Capt. Steve Morris with the Columbia County Sheriff's Office says, "As first responders were tending to Middlebrooks, they discovered the small child on the floorboard of that vehicle."

The coroner says Allen was covered up on the floorboard, nude from the waist down.

Venicia Campfield, Allen's cousin, used to babysit the toddler all the time. The news that she had been stabbed to death was tough to hear.

"How could you do that to her? I'm talking about she was an innocent baby, and she was so sweet," she said.

Investigators say Middlebrooks stabbed her daughter to death, then stabbed herself before crashing into a tree in front of North Columbia Elementary School.

The Columbia County coroner says he believes the murder weapon was a pair of scissors. They are having the pair they found tested for DNA.

Campfield says she was with Sky's father when he found out how his daughter died.

"He could not move, he could not talk, he was so hurt, because all he kept saying was, 'She stabbed my baby in the neck?'"

It's a crime the entire community is struggling to understand.

"It's difficult for people to get their minds around this kind of incident because it is so rare," Morris said.

"The one question that I want to ask her so bad: What was going through your head?" Campfield said.

It's a question many people are asking: How this mother could have just snapped?

"Her mind was going the wrong places. She thinking the wrong things," Campfield said.

Campfield says nothing could have predicted this, though.

"This was a part of you. How can you take a part of you like that? I don't understand," she said.

Middlebrooks is being held without bond at the Columbia County Detention Center. She is charged with cruelty to children and murder. This case is still under investigation to determine if Allen was actually killed in Columbia County or closer to home in Richmond County.

Initial report:

COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW) -- The Columbia County coroner says a pair of scissors may have been the murder weapon in the death of a toddler.

Coroner Vernon Collins says 2-year-old Sky Allen was found in the nude covered up on the floorboard of an SUV.

Collins says Allen died of stab wounds to the neck and that, in his opinion, Allen died quickly due to the severity of the lacerations on a major artery.

Responders found Allen and her mother, 29-year-old Marina Middlebrooks, on Ray Owens Road May 2 after investigators say Middlebrooks hit a tree head on.

Middlebrooks was arrested around 2 p.m. Monday and charged with murder and first-degree cruelty to children.

Middlebrooks was taken to the hospital after the accident. According to the incident report, she also had lacerations.


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