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Dying Too Young: Jezebel Cricket Donnell

Oklahoman Modified: March 27, 2009 at 5:51 pm •  Published: March 25, 2009

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Name: Jezebel Cricket Donnell

Age: 2

Place of residence: El Reno

Died: Jan. 14, 2007

What happened: Father Jesse Donnell, then 27, called 911 and told El Reno police he found his daughter unresponsive with beads wrapped around her neck. She had marks on her neck consistent with ligature marks, a medical examiner's report shows. The marks were also on her right fingers, consistent with a report that her hand was under the beads when she was found by her father. Jezebel was wrapped in a blanket and sleeping in a bed next to her mother. Jezebel could not be revived by paramedics. The autopsy also states her “teeth showed evidence of neglect.” The death was caused by asphyxiation, a report states. Jezebel's mother, Casie L. Basford, then 25, failed to show up for a polygraph test several days after her daughter's death. Basford has moved from El Reno, police said. She later took a polygragh test in Kansas and did not pass it, said El Reno police Lt. Van Gillock. However, the lie detector results are inadmissible in court, he said. Basford had previously lost an infant to sudden infant death syndrome. Since the manner of death is undetermined, prosecutors declined to file a charge, said Gillock. He said the case has been placed in a non-prosecutorial file until further information is developed.

Other: Ellen Landgraf, Jezebel's great aunt, said she does not think justice has been served. She said she was disappointed when told by police that prosecutors declined to file charges. Landgraf said Jezebel loved pizza and ate a lot. She liked to “walk like a princess,” by prancing around in a dainty way, Landgraf said.

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