The infant was unconscious when deputies arrived, and later died at the hospital. Her mother told Paulding County Sheriff's deputies the baby girl had been born with a heart condition.
Nearly a year later, Tanya Atkinson, 26, and her boyfriend, Jason Andrew Gromer, 37, have been arrested and charged with murder and aggravated battery. A Georgia Bureau of Investigation autopsy concluded the child died from blunt force trauma to the head. Her death was not an accident, investigators determined.
Atkinson and Gromer were arrested last week and were being held without bond as of Tuesday afternoon, jail records indicated.
Deputies were called to their Hiram-area home shortly after 7 a.m. on May 10, 2018, Paulding County Sgt. Ashley Henson said. The 3-month-old was taken to WellStar Paulding Hospital, where she died. Her name has not been made public.
The autopsy, performed routinely by the GBI in such cases, showed the extent of the child’s injuries, Henson said. No information was released on what investigators suspect caused the trauma to the baby.
After the infant's death, Atkinson’s two other children were removed from the home and placed in protective custody, Henson said. In September, Gromer created a Go Fund Me page seeking donations to pay for an attorney.
"My baby died over 4 months ago in the early hours of the morning," it read. "1 day later the state took the surviving siblings away. 4 months later and 15 thousand dollars later we still fight..with our kids gone. I am broken and my family is broken too."
The page included photos of a baby in a pink sleeper and a receipt for a $2,000 cashier's check made out to an attorney.
"We need money for more court dates and some how some way to bring the children home," the accompanying text read. "Please help us if you can. If everyone can help just a little it adds up to a lot."
Gromer last posted on the page in September. By Monday evening, Go Fund Me had taken it down. A spokesperson said it violated terms and conditions, without elaborating.
Anyone with information on the case is asked to contact Paulding detectives at 770-445-6105.
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