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Mother charged in death of infant

SUGAR HILL - A 22-year-old Sugar Hill woman is charged with killing her infant daughter after an autopsy revealed the child died of head trauma, police said Friday.

Police arrested Erica LaShae Graham on charges of murder and cruelty to children Thursday, more than a week after she called 911 to report she'd found the lifeless child in a playpen.

The alleged victim, Aubrey Graham, was 3 months old.

Gwinnett police spokesman Cpl. David Schiralli said a routine autopsy showed the child died of "closed head trauma," generally associated with brain injuries.

Police won't say exactly how the child died or what precipitated the alleged incident.

"There were injuries which were not consistent with the mother's statements," Schiralli said. "We can't elaborate anymore."

Police responded to a person dead call the evening of Jan. 6 at Graham's Castlegate Town Homes address on Level Creek Road. She told police the child - born three months premature in October - had been sleeping for hours, evidenced by her snoring, according to a police report.

Graham stated she put the child in a playpen about 7 p.m., then found her cold and not breathing two hours later. She ran to a woman's home next door and called 911, and the two women tried CPR in vain on the child until paramedics arrived, the report says.

A responding officer notes in the report that Graham did not cry when informed her child was dead. She remains in the Gwinnett County Jail without bond.

The child's father, 18, lives elsewhere in Gwinnett with friends, the report says.

The infant's death marks Gwinnett's first homicide of 2009.