OCALA, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - On Wednesday there were a lot of emotions, and a lot of questions swirling around the Ocala neighborhood where 2-year-old Journee Blyden lived.
Pat Embree, a neighbor of Blyden’s, told Fox 35 “It’s horrifying.”
2-year-old Journee Blyden’s death is ruled a homicide. Detectives said witnesses told them Journee accidentally fell out of her crib June 21st at a home along Hemlock Course Run in Ocala. She was taken to the hospital with head trauma.
“I wasn’t surprised," Embree said. "Only because I didn’t believe she fell out of the playpen like that.”
Fox 35 has learned this wasn’t the first time law enforcement was at Journee’s home. The Marion County Sheriff’s Office told Fox 35 deputies came to the home 19 other times since 2014. Reasons included warrant checks, a domestic incident, and her father getting a threatening post card.
The Department of Children and Families confirmed they had one prior child protection investigation involving Journee before and they say there were no verified findings. In addition the department released the following statement: "We are devastated to learn of the tragic loss of Journee Blyden. We are currently investigating the circumstances surrounding the events that lead to her death. A full quality assurance review will be conducted into the prior involvement with this family to see if any action could have been taken that would have prevented her death."
Detectives are trying to piece together what exactly happened that led to Journee’s death. “For the injuries that she sustained, something that might’ve happened, that might have been more than what we were originally told," Lauren Lettelier with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office said. "The injuries do not, right now, don’t match a fall like that.”
Neighbors told Fox 35 they don’t remember seeing anything odd or unusual at the house. “I know they love that baby.” Neighbor Geneva Henderson told Fox 35’s David Williams. She said she knows some of Journee’s family. “I don’t honestly feel like they would hurt that child,” Henderson said.
In the meantime Detectives need your help to figure out how little Journee died. If you know anything about Journee's death, call Marion County Sheriff's Office Detective, Frank Scala, at (352) 368-3548.