Toddler who died after alleged assault at motel ID’d

Kent County

GRAND RAPIDS TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — A man will face additional charges after the death of a toddler he’s accused of abusing, the Kent County Sheriff’s Office says.

Rickey Whiteside, 29, was formally charged with first-degree child abuse Wednesday.

He was arrested after deputies found his girlfriend’s 2-year-old daughter unresponsive in the Lazy T Motel at 3370 Plainfield Ave. in Grand Rapids Township around 11:37 p.m. on Sunday.  Deputies were called there after dispatchers took a call from a “hysterical” woman trying to check the toddler’s breathing, according to a probable cause document for Whiteside’s arrest.

The court document identifies the toddler as Londyn Florine Marie Amir. According to the probable cause, authorities said Whiteside confessed to “losing it,”  punching Londyn in the face and knocking her to the ground, unconscious when he was alone with her while her mother, Shaniqua Chantell Strickland, was at the store.

Deputies tried to revive the girl until additional medical support arrived and took over. 

Londyn was in critical condition as she was taken to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. She died there at 12:45 p.m. Wednesday.

Authorities said the toddler’s injuries were consistent with an assault. A doctor confirmed Londyn had “traumatic injuries consistent with abuse for an undetermined amount of time.”

A judge set Whiteside’s bond at $1 million, citing the suspect’s prior convictions for domestic violence, drug use and trespassing. If convicted of first-degree child abuse, Whiteside could spend the rest of his life in prison.

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