Pekin woman charged with suffocating her infant daughter

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PEKIN, Ill. (WMBD) — A Tazewell County woman has been charged with suffocating her infant daughter.

Angel Vanduker, 19, of Pekin was charged with involuntary manslaughter of a family member in Tazewell County court Monday.

Documentation from the court shows Pekin Police were called to a Pekin home on Monday, September 21 where they found an 11-month old Nova Tucker unresponsive. She was transported to UnityPoint Pekin Hospital and then to OSF Children’s Hospital of Illinois in Peoria where authorities say she was placed on life support. She died three days later.

Police say Vanduker originally told them the child choked on a waffle. Medical personnel say they did not find any food or other obstructions in the airway. The document says Vanduker then gave police inconsistent statements before telling an officer she was tired and attempted to get the child to lay down with her on the couch. When the infant would not cooperate Vanduker told police she wrapped her in a blanket and held the child tightly to her chest with her hand behind the baby’s head for a number of minutes until the child stopped squirming.

The court filing says Vanduker claimed she fell asleep briefly and when she woke up the child was unresponsive. An autopsy showed the child died of suffocation.

Vanduker is next scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 15.

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