19-year-old man charged with murder in death of Altoona toddler
ALTOONA, Pa. - Police have identified and formally charged a man in the death of an 16-month-old girl.
Drue Burd, 19, of Altoona, has been charged with murder, aggravated assault, strangulation, endangering the welfare of children and simple assault in the death of Angela Beard.
Burd was arraigned Friday morning and is in Blair County Prison after being denied bail.
According to a criminal complaint, Beard was hospitalized at Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh Sunday and an examination of the toddler said she had abnormal bruising, diffuse cerebral edema and lacerations that were caused by trauma.
The complaint said, police interviewed Burd May 20 and he intitially told them he woke up in the early morning hours of May 20 and found Beard unresponsive.
In a second interview May 24, police said Burd admitted to covering the toddler's mouth and nose with his hand to try to make her fall asleep.
He said he kept his hand there until Beard stopped moving. Police said Burd said he noticed after a few minutes that Beard was still unconscious and started mouth to mouth.
"I wasn't trying to kill her, I was trying to put her out," said Burd, according to a criminal complaint.
Police said Beard died Thursday from the injuries she suffered.
A GoFundMe page has been set up in Beard's name.
Burd will appear in court next for a preliminary hearing.