published Saturday, January 7th, 2012

Murray County grand jury to hear evidence in baby girl’s death

A Murray County, Ga., grand jury could hear evidence this month about how an infant girl’s death in November 2010 was not an accident, authorities said.

Jaidyn Alexis Whaley, the daughter of Isaac and Francie Whaley, died at T.C. Thompson Children’s Hospital in Chattanooga on Nov. 19, 2010.

Two days before the baby died, a family member had called 911 from a G.I. Maddox Parkway home in Chatsworth about a problem with the child, authorities said.

Months later, Jaidyn’s death was ruled a homicide following an autopsy, Georgia Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Greg Ramey said. But her case has been under investigation, and no one has been arrested, he said.

“These cases are very difficult,” Ramey said.

The autopsy report shows Jaidyn died of abusive head trauma, which used to be called shaken-baby syndrome, Conasauga Circuit District Attorney Kermit McManus said.

McManus said he plans to take the case to the grand jury Jan. 16. But he declined to say who is a suspect and what the charges would be.

Authorities would not provide a copy of the autopsy report, citing an open investigation.

about Joy Lukachick Smith...

Joy Lukachick Smith is the city government reporter for the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Since 2009, she's covered crime and court systems in North Georgia and rural Tennessee, landed an exclusive in-prison interview with a former cop convicted of killing his wife, exposed impropriety in an FBI-led, child-sex online sting and exposed corruption in government agencies. Earlier this year, Smith won the Malcolm Law Memorial Award for Investigative Reporting. She also won first place in ...

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