Grandmother charged in toddler's death in Pennsylvania

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Pietrina Hoffman, 52, says she blacked out and when she awoke, her granddaughter was dead

A grandmother left responsible for two children is now charged with criminal homicide after police say she killed a toddler and starved another child.

Pietrina Hoffman, 52, burst into tears as she was walked out of the district magistrate's office in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania after being charged, WNEP-TV reports.

Mahanoy City police have been investigating this case for about a month after one-year-old Navaeh Doyle was found dead on January 10 inside Hoffman's home.

Her two-year-old granddaughter was also found, showing signs of starvation.

Hoffman says she doesn't remember anything about what led up to the death of little Navaeh, just that she took sleeping pills and blacked out, according to court documents.

Kathy Haage, a family friend, tells WNEP she believes the woman and says she's in shock over Hoffman's arraignment.

Investigators say, however, Hoffman left the baby's body on the floor for hours before calling 911.

Hoffman is also accused of having a cup of coffee and phoning her husband before calling for help.

If convicted, she could face the death penalty. The magistrate did not set bail for Hoffman.

Related Topics:
toddlerbaby deathu.s. & worldarrestPennsylvania
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