Jessica Li McClure

Jessica, adopted in China 6 months earlier, died of a fractured skull in 1993 at 10 months. She had 14 broken bones (hand, wrist, leg, upper arm, collar bone and three ribs) in the 2 months prior to her death. Her adoptive mother Julie McClure was charged with murder and manslaughter. A piece of wallboard from the home had a dent about the size of a baby's head with embedded human hairs. The defense contended that Jessica had brittle bone disease and the skull fracture was caused by a fall when the 10 month girl was standing on a chair. Her body was cremated before tests could be completed; no bone anomalies were noted during the autopsy.

Two separate grand juries indicted Julie before a Juvenile Court judge decided the verdict without a trial saying the state failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that McClure killed Jessica.
It is not clear if Jessica was abused, suffered from osteogenesis imperfecta, or if both items played a role in her death. Adoptive father Jim McClure was not charged.
Date: 1993-08-17
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Death by unknown cause
Abuser: Adoptive mother

Location

Lakeville, Minnesota
United States
See map: Google Maps
DocumentDatesort icon
MOTHER ACQUITTED OF KILLING BABY1995-09-23
WOMAN FOUND NOT GUILTY OF KILLING BABY DAUGHTER; BONE DISEASE CREATED DOUBT OF ABUSE 1995-09-22
Mom not guilty in baby death; Lakeville couple says case has left them bankrupt 1995-09-22
JUVENILE COURT JUDGE TO RULE IN DEATH OF INFANT1995-09-19
In rare move, judge to decide murder case without trial1995-09-19
NEW EVIDENCE EXPECTED IN BABY'S KILLING1995-03-31
MOTHER SAYS BONE DISEASE KILLED CHILD1994-06-02
LAKEVILLE WOMAN CHARGED IN ADOPTED CHILD'S DEATH1994-05-26
Woman charged with murder of adopted daughter1994-05-26
Girl had 14 broken bones before fatal fracture 1993-08-31
LAKEVILLE BABY HAD HISTORY OF FRACTURES BEFORE HER DEATH POLICE REPORTS TALLY 14 BROKEN BONES IN TWO MONTHS BEFORE FATAL INJURY1993-08-28
Police investigate girl's death as homicide; Doctors find earlier bone breaks suffered before fatal skull fracture 1993-08-20
DEATHS OF BABIES IN BROOKLYN PARK, LAKEVILLE PROBED1993-08-19
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Location

Pound Pup Legacy