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Bond denied for woman accused of suffocating 18-month-old baby

LAWRENCEVILLE - The mother accused of suffocating her 18-month-old baby while hiding from police in a closet crawlspace will remain behind bars without bond.

During a preliminary hearing Friday, Magistrate Judge James Argo also found probable cause to bind over charges of first-degree child cruelty and murder against 26-year-old Jessica Holcomb to Superior Court.

On May 15, accompanied by a Department of Family and Children Services member, officers went to 565 Oakland Road after reports that a 1-year-old and 3-year-old were being left unattended and in unsanitary conditions.

According to reports, officers, fearing for the child's safety, entered the home through an opened back door when they heard a baby yell out briefly before going silent.

Gwinnett police detective Shelly Millsap testified during the hearing that after officers entered the home, they found it to be littered with clothing and food leftovers.

Police said when they found Holcomb, she was holding her "lifeless" daughter. The infant was extremely pale and had no pulse, reports said. An officer began CPR before the baby was taken to Gwinnett Medical Center, where medical personnel were able to regain a pulse. She was then flown to Scottish Rite Children's Hospital for further treatment, but died three days later.

An autopsy confirmed the child died from a lack of oxygen.

Authorities said they believe Holcomb was hiding because she knew there were warrants for her arrest.

Holcomb's 3-year-old son was reportedly not home at the time of the incident. He is in the custody of his paternal grandparents, police said.

Holcomb is being represented by attorney Edwin J. Wilson.