Autopsy finds Serenity Deal died from an assault that caused an “acute closed head injury'

Oklahoma City girl, who was 5, also suffered “multiple additional blunt force trauma, including … rib fractures,” chief medical examiner reported.
BY NOLAN CLAY nclay@opubco.com Modified: September 14, 2011 at 9:34 pm •  Published: September 14, 2011
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Serenity Deal died from a head injury “due to assault” and she had seven recent fractured ribs, as well as scrapes and bruises all over her head and small body, an autopsy found.

Serenity is the 5-year-old girl whose death June 4 sparked a public outcry against the Oklahoma Department of Human Services.

Her 21-page autopsy report was released to the public Wednesday. Her cause of death is listed as “acute closed head injury due to assault.”

The state's new chief medical examiner, Dr. Eric Pfeifer, reported she had “multiple additional blunt force injuries.” Her manner of death is listed as a homicide.

He specifically listed 30 recent injuries in the report.

Pfeifer reported he found no evidence of recent trauma to the girl's genitals.

Serenity died while with her father in Oklahoma City. She began living with him full time in May at the recommendation of DHS workers.

The girl was placed with her father, Sean Devon Brooks, even though she was injured twice in January during overnight visits with him. The second time, she returned to a foster home with black eyes and a swollen and bruised face, records show.

DHS workers have said they believed the injuries in January were accidental. Serenity and her father both claimed he dropped her the second time she was hurt.

DHS was involved because Serenity's mother had been accused of molesting a boy. Brooks had not known he was her father until she was 3.


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