North Georgia woman accused of beating 3-month-old daughter to death

Elba Maureen Santiago

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Elba Maureen Santiago

A North Georgia woman is accused of beating her infant daughter, which caused her to die after a week in the hospital, authorities said.

Elba Maureen Santiago, 25, of Cornelia, abused her 3-month-old on April 2, and the baby later died from her injuries at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite on Monday, Cornelia police said in a news release.

The child was unresponsive when police, Cornelia firefighters and Habersham County Emergency Medical Services arrived at the AppleTree Inn at 190 South Main Street, the release said. The girl was taken to Northeast Georgia Medical Center before being flown to Atlanta.

Doctors told police the child’s injuries were consistent with child abuse, the release said. The specific injuries were not provided.

“This isn’t normal for a metropolitan, much less a community of less than 5,000 in Cornelia,” police Chief Chad Smith told AJC.com in an email.

In the release, he also said, “This case has shocked the conscious of everyone involved, so please keep the family and all public safety personnel involved in your prayers.”

Santiago was charged with murder, first-degree child cruelty and two counts of aggravated battery, Habersham jail records show.

She remains in jail without bond. AJC.com has reached out to the Habersham County Sheriff’s Office for more information about her booking.

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