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Coroner identifies 3-year-old victim in murder case

Daquelvin J. Brighthop
Daquelvin J. Brighthop(WRDW)
Published: Dec. 23, 2020 at 12:18 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - A man is charged with murdering a 3-year-old girl he’s accused of punching in the chest and abdomen with such force and so many times that her liver was lacerated before she died last week.

Also Wednesday, the coroner released the name of the girl: Candace Burke.

The Richmond County Coroner’s Office is investigating the death, calling it suspicious, and the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office has arrested Daquelvin J. Brighthop, 26, charging him with murder and cruelty to children in the first degree.

The child died at 5:34 p.m. Dec. 16 after being taken from her home on Albermarle Drive to Augusta University Medical Center, Coroner Mark Bowen said.

The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office on Friday arrested Daquelvin J. Brighthop, 26, on suspicion of cruelty to children in the first degree, according to law enforcement records.

An affidavit in the arrest warrant says Brighthop “did maliciously cause a child under the age of 18, namely: she being 3 years old, cruel physical pain.” The affidavit says Brighthop punched the victim “multiple times” in her chest and abdomen, causing a lacerated liver, head trauma and bruising to her chest.

On Tuesday, a murder charge was added.

The offense occurred at 2220 Albemarle Drive, according to authorities.

Brighthop remains in Richmond County jail.

His relationship to the girl is unclear.

Her body was transported to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation for an autopsy.

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