Valparaiso girl, 3, dies after being found unresponsive in pond; mother charged

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The mother of a 3-year-old Valparaiso girl who died Monday night after being found unresponsive in a pond has been charged in the girl's death.

Valparaiso Police said Tasia Perkins, 32, reported her daughter, Tamira Billingslea, missing from their residence in the 2700 block of Roanoke Court at about 9:30 p.m. Monday. Officers began searching the area and about 45 minutes later a K9 officer from the Porter County Sheriff's Office led officials to the girl, who was unresponsive in a nearby pond.

Emergency responders began treating Billingslea at the scene and then transported her to Porter Regional Hospital, where she later died.

The Porter County coroner said an autopsy of the child is scheduled for Wednesday morning.

Police said Perkins was charged after it was determined that her explanation of the incident was inconsistent. Perkins was booked into the Porter County Jail on one felony count of neglect of a dependent.

Valparaiso Police and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources continue to investigate.
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