The Hamilton County Prosecutor announced Thursday the mother accused of smothering her toddler last week in Millvale has been indicted on several charges.
Janishcia Cottingham, 23, is facing one count of aggravated murder, murder, and felonious assault.
Police got a call last Thursday shortly before 2 p.m. that there was a toddler not responding at a townhome on Bowling Green Court. Upon arrival, police found Robin Cottingham, 15 months, unresponsive in a crib in the living room.
Police say no one was home when they arrived.
Robin Cottingham was pronounced dead at the scene by the Hamilton County Coroner's Office, who later determined she was smothered to death. The coroner ruled Robin's death a homicide on Thursday.
Her mother, Janishcia, was later arrested and charged in connection with Robin's death.
Cottingham's father, Robert Midell, says the toddler was previously handed over to Job and Family Services (JFS) by the mother. Midell says he was then called by an agent asking to pick up the child, who remained in his custody until he also had to turn the toddler over to JFS, to get himself "situated and established."
According to Midell, the agency gave Robin Cottingham back to the mother.
"There was nothing that would have indicated that this would have been the outcome. Again, there was no prior history with this family. The child, never in the process did anyone say the child was abused or neglected or had concerns about her being abused or neglected," said JFS Director Moira Weir.
Janishcia Cottingham's grandmother, Belinda, says it was clear Janishcia needed mental health services, but those services were never delivered.
"All she needed was help. She cried out for help. The state failed her. The state Job and Family Services failed her," said Belinda.
Weir couldn't go into details but says help was being provided.
"The family in this situation was very engaged and was working with us, and the family was facilitating all the arrangements," she said.
Those arrangements apparently fell short Thursday when Janishcia arrived at her grandmother's house appearing very disoriented and without her daughter Robin.
"Since she didn't have the baby, and she wasn't acting like herself, I contacted the Housing Authority and asked for emergency entrance and that's when they found the baby," Belinda explained.
Cottingham is being held on a $1 million bond. If convicted of all charges, she faces the possibility of life in prison without parole.
The olinguito (Bassaricyon neblina) is the first carnivore species to be discovered in the American continents in 35 years.More >>
Smithsonian scientist Kristofer Helgen led a team into the cloud forests of Ecuador. The team spent 10 years examining hundreds of museum specimens and tracking animals, ultimately discovering the newest species of mammal known to science, the olinguito.More >>
Tuesday, July 22 2014 6:08 AM EDT2014-07-22 10:08:09 GMT
(WMC) - WMC Action News 5 has uncovered disturbing new details of the allegations behind the rape charge against a Mid-South millionaire businessman. WMC Action News 5's Nick Kenney took the new informationMore >>
Twenty toothbrushes, eight flash drives, four guns, nipple clamps, sex toys, lingerie: those are just a few of the items seized from the property of a Memphis businessman charged with rape. More >>
Tuesday, July 22 2014 6:52 AM EDT2014-07-22 10:52:07 GMT
The state's vehicle inspection law is now coming under closer scrutiny, with critics saying it's not necessary and unenforceable.More >>
Every day, hundreds of Mississippians get their cars inspected to make sure they are in proper driving condition. Also every day, hundreds of others don't. The state's vehicle inspection law is now coming under closer scrutiny, with critics saying it's not necessary and unenforceable.More >>
Tuesday, July 22 2014 2:36 PM EDT2014-07-22 18:36:56 GMT
It was a sad morning in Gulfport as a community helped a family say goodbye to five year old Janaya Thompson. More >>
It was a sad morning in Gulfport as a community helped a family say goodbye to five year old Janaya Thompson. Her memorial service got underway just after 11 Tuesday morning at Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church in Gulfport. People who knew Janaya stood up and shared stories of the little girl who had touched their lives. "Naya" could light up a room and make people smile.More >>
Tuesday, July 22 2014 1:04 AM EDT2014-07-22 05:04:40 GMT
Jackson Mayor Tony Yarber spoke out Monday on the sudden resignation of JPD Chief Lindsey Horton. The mayor praised former Chief Horton's work over the past year and his help with the administrative transition. ButMore >>
Jackson Mayor Tony Yarber praised former Police Chief Lindsey Horton's work over the past year and his help with the administrative transition. But refuted rumors that Horton was forced out or asked to leave.More >>
Tuesday, July 22 2014 6:13 PM EDT2014-07-22 22:13:25 GMT
The man arrested for the brutal murder of 67-year-old Ruth Helen Harrion went before a judge on Tuesday and was denied bond. 29-year-old Alonzo Stewart is charged with capital murder. Authorities sayMore >>
29-year-old Alonzo Stewart is charged with capital murder. Authorities say he lived a few houses away from Harrion in the Bel-Air Subdivision in Northwest Jackson.