Georgia parents, who crowdfunded for 7-week-old daughter's funeral, charged with her MURDER
GEORGIA, ATLANTA: Atlanta police were called to a home on August 10, 2022, on reports of an unresponsive infant, according to authorities. The child, identified as Journee Byrd, was taken to the hospital but ultimately did not survive. The couple, who allegedly crowdfunded to raise money for the child's funeral, is now being charged with her murder.
The child's parents, Zion Kendrick Byrd, 23, and DeShan Turner, 20, found the seven-week-old baby unresponsive in her crib and reported it to the police. The Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office and police noticed bruising and scarring on the baby’s body. “Further investigation revealed the child sustained injuries consistent with inflicted trauma,” police said. The parents were arrested on August 18, 2022, and charged with murder and cruelty to children.
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“Police officers respond to many types of calls, but arguably the most difficult are those where infants and children have been harmed or killed,” said APD in a Facebook post.
“When these and other crime atrocities happen, the response is always a relentless pursuit to identify the suspects, arrest them and ensure justice for the victim,” they added.
Video of the couple’s arrest showed them being handcuffed as Turner asked what they were being arrested for. “We didn’t do nothing,” Turner told an officer while Byrd asked for his attorney.
Before their arrest, Turner had created a GoFundMe page, where she explained she found Journey unresponsive in her crib and she said, “This whole process is very complicated for me and is an unimaginable pain,” adding, “My daughters changed the entire meaning of life for me. They gave me purpose. These funds would be used to help me with funeral costs and also to help me get my child back.”
Turner and Byrd are being held at the Fulton County Jail without bond, according to booking records. Their older daughter Jaylynn Mcdowell, 1-year-old soon to be two, was taken into protective custody earlier that day. "Journee is the second child under the age of one that was allegedly killed in Atlanta this year," said police.
If you or anyone you know suspects child abuse, you are urged to immediately call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to www.childhelp.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential and the hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.