Henry County commission candidate charged with murder, child cruelty

Henry County commission candidate Jennifer Rosenbaum has been charged with murder, reportedly in connection with the death of a 2-year-old foster child in her care.

Online records showed Rosenbaum, a 27-year-old Army veteran and Emory University law student, was booked into the Henry County jail late Friday on charges including murder, aggravated assault, two counts of first-degree cruelty to children and one count of second-degree cruelty to children. Rosenbaum’s husband, Joseph, 26, was also arrested but charged only with two counts of first-degree cruelty to children.

No bond was listed for either suspect.

According to the Henry Herald, the Rosenbaums’ arrests are tied to the Nov. 17 death of Laila Marie Daniel, a 2-year-old foster child in their care. The cause and manner of death have not been released, the newspaper reported.

An incident report said Henry County authorities originally responded to the Rosenbaums’ home on Lincoln Terrace in McDonough after receiving a “sick call.” A 911 call suggested the child had choked on food, the Henry Herald reported.

Henry County Police Department spokesman Capt. Joey Smith told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Saturday that his agency is “unable to make any public comments in reference to the specifics of the case at this time.”

“We are preparing a case for prosecution and awaiting preliminary hearings,” he said in an email.

An email to a spokeswoman for Georgia’s Division of Family and Children Services was not immediately returned. It was unclear how long Laila had been in the Rosenbaums’ care, and why she was not with her birth family.

According to an online obituary, she was laid to rest Nov. 23 in McDonough.

“Laila loved everybody and had a big loving smile and would let you know that she was a big girl,” the obituary said.

She is survived by her parents and two siblings. Her birth mother, Stockbridge resident Tessa Clendening, referred inquiries to her attorney, who did not immediately return calls Saturday.

A Facebook page promoting Jennifer Rosenbaum’s candidacy for the Henry County commission had been removed Saturday morning. Messages left with her attorney were not returned.

Both Rosenbaums are scheduled to appear before a magistrate judge Monday morning.

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