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Toddler died after falling out of car, according to court documents

A 19-month-old Goshen toddler whose mother told police she died in a hit-and-run crash actually died Monday after she fell out of the car her mother's boyfriend was driving, according to court documents filed today. Mariah Gibson's cause of death was ruled blunt force trauma as a result of an accident, the Elkhart County Coroner's Office said Thursday. Mariah's mother, Mande Turner-Berger, and
Emily Monacelli
Posted on May. 20, 2011 at 1:00 a.m. | Updated on May. 20, 2011 at 3:39 p.m.

A 19-month-old Goshen toddler whose mother told police she died in a hit-and-run crash actually died Monday after she fell out of the car her mother's boyfriend was driving, according to court documents filed today.

Mariah Gibson's cause of death was ruled blunt force trauma as a result of an accident, the Elkhart County Coroner's Office said Thursday. Mariah's mother, 22-year-old Mande Turner-Berger, and her boyfriend, Daniel Pennington, 30, were arrested Wednesday on preliminary obstruction of justice charges.

Turner-Berger originally told police she had been walking with Mariah and her other child when she put Mariah down to walk. She told police Mariah ran into the intersection of Bridge Street and Eighth Street and was struck by an older, rusty, red car that fled.

The probable cause affidavit filed today shows that Turner-Berger was riding in the car when Mariah fell. In a follow-up interview, Turner-Berger told police Pennington had told her to not tell the truth about what had happened to Mariah.

Both Turner-Berger and Pennington are being held on a $10,000 bond.

The Elkhart County Prosecutor has until May 27 to file formal charges.

To see the court documents filed, click here:

Pennington

Turner-Berger



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