Former Elk Grove resident charged in 3-year-old's death

Relates to:
Date: 2009-08-06

From Cynthia Hubert

Police have arrested a former Elk Grove resident and charged her with murder in the death last year of her 3-year-old adoptive daughter.

Sabrina Banks, 42, called 911 on May 2, 2008 and reported that her daughter Lavender was "unresponsive," said Officer Christopher Trim of the Elk Grove Police Department.

Medical personnel were unable to revive the girl, and pronounced her dead at the scene. Lavender had visible injuries that "were not consistent with an accidental death," said Trim.

An autopsy report lists the probable cause of death as "asphyxiation by smothering" and "multiple blunt force injuries," according to the Sacramento County Coroner's Office.

Trim said it took detectives more than a year to gather the evidence necessary that led to charging Banks with murder, assault resulting in the death of a child under 8 years of age and endangering the life or health of a child.

"It was a very long process of interviewing the mother, her friends, checking her history, working with the coroner's office," he said. The Sacramento County District Attorney's Office issued an arrest warrant for Banks, and she was located in Visalia on Wednesday and taken into custody, said Trim.

She will be transported to Sacramento County within the next few days, he said.

Banks had one other child in her Elk Grove home when Lavender's death occurred, and that youngster has been in protective custody since then, Trim said.

The family had previous involvement with Child Protective Services in Kern County, Sacramento County CPS Director Laura Coulthard previously told The Bee. She did not provide details.

Trim said he was unaware of any further CPS involvement with Banks.


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