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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Man expected to face murder charges in child’s death

     

    A man held on preliminary murder charges in connection with the death of a 3-year-old girl and the child’s mother were in McLean County Circuit CourtTuesday morning for separate hearings related to the removal of a second child from their care.

    David Gharrett, 23, of Chenoa, is expected to face formal murder charges later today. Destiny Cox died Friday at a Peoria hospital of blunt force injuries to her head and abdomen, according to autopsy results.

    Gharrett was in child welfare court for a hearing on an emergency placement for David Gharrett Jr. The 1-year-old was placed in the custody of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services based on reports reviewed by Judge Kevin Fitzgerald.

    Gharrett was ordered to submit to paternity testing and cooperate with child welfare workers or face the possible termination of his parental rights. He did not object to the petition to place the child in state care.

    After Gharrett left the courtroom, similar proceedings took place with Candace Ethridge, the mother of both children. Ethridge sobbed as the judge read the requirements that she cooperate and submit to a drug screening.

    Police responded to a call to an unresponsive child at a home in the Meadows area of rural Chenoa on Thursday afternoon. Gharrett was taken into custody on preliminary charges Monday.

    The McLean County Sheriff’s Department is continuing its investigation into the child’s death.

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