PRESS RELEASE, 7/2/2012

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph T. Deters announces murder indictment in death of 13-month-old William Cunningham

Today, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph T. Deters announced the indictment of Marquita Burch (DOB 7/25/85) in the death of 13-month-old William Cunningham.  Burch is charged with Endangering Children (Felony 2), Murder (Special Felony), Endangering Children (Felony 3), Involuntary Manslaughter (Felony 1), Tampering with Evidence (Felony 3) and Abuse of a Corpse (Felony 5).  If convicted of all charges, she faces the possibility of life in prison.

Counts 1 and 2 charge her with inflicting injury on the infant which resulted in his death.  Counts 3 and 4 charge her with the death of the child for failing to seek medical treatment after the child was injured.  According to the Hamilton County Coroner, prompt medical treatment may have saved his life.  Counts 5 and 6 are a reindictment of her original charges in B 1204335.  The original charges will be dismissed as they are now consolidated with her new charges.

Burch was friends with the child’s mother and had been babysitting for him for several weeks in her home.  The child was injured on May 22nd and died the next day.  Burch put the child in a garbage bag after he died, and took the corpse to her cousin’s house on Friday, May 25th.  On May 25th, she reported the child missing to the police in Covington, Kentucky.  Covington Police started a massive search for the supposedly missing baby.  On May 26th, Cincinnati Police recovered the baby’s body in the cousin’s home.

The Hamilton County Coroner ruled the death a homicide as the result of a subdural hematoma. Prosecutor Deters commented, “This child did not have to die.  It is bad enough that Burch injured the child, but horrible to think of the child’s suffering – its clear the child might have survived if the defendant had sought prompt medical treatment.“