2-month-old died of skull fracture, mother arraigned on murder charge

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BUENA VISTA TOWNSHIP (WJRT) (9/12/2018) - A medical examiner believes 2-month-old Elijah Frierson died of a skull fracture caused by blunt force trauma, meaning hits to his head.

Kelise Clemmons

His mother, 28-year-old Kelise Clemmons, was arrested Tuesday and charged with his murder six months to the day after he was found dead on March 11. She appeared before a judge for arraignment Wednesday.

Police responded to the family's residence in Buena Vista Township on March 11 after Clemmons found her son unresponsive and not breathing. She claimed to have fallen asleep with him and found him dead when she awoke.

Police launched an investigation after noticing some suspicious injuries on Frierson. That led to Clemmons facing a charge of open murder.

"Medical examiner conducted an autopsy and determined there was blunt force trauma," said Michigan State Police Sgt. John Richards.

The Michigan State Police conducted the investigation because the baby's father is related to a Buena Vista Township police officer. Richards said the investigation took time because of a number of medical records related to the death had to be reviewed and several interviews were done.

"Forensic interviews of everybody that was at the residence, minor children that may have information," he said.

Clemmons' family came to the courtroom Wednesday and expressed support for her.

"Everybody in the community knows she is a good mother, and I think everything is unfair," said Trina Kendall, who is Clemmons' cousin. "If you guys knew what the type of person she was, you would say, no she's not the one."

Richards said Clemmons is the only person facing criminal charges connected to the boy's death.

"Numerous people were interviewed to eliminate all possible suspects and only one person of interest came out as being the suspect that caused the injury," Richards said.

Clemmons remained in the Saginaw County Jail after arraignment with no bond. She is scheduled to appear in court for a preliminary hearing on Oct. 3.