Mom accused of murder after bringing dead daughter to hospital tries to hang herself in cell


The 5-year-old girl's brother died earlier this year, and their father died in 2016.

(NBC News)—A Louisiana mother who was charged with murder days after bringing her dead 5-year-old daughter to the hospital tried to kill herself in jail Thursday, according to police.

Jasmine Anderson, 24, remained hospitalized Friday after she tried to hang herself in her cell at the Rapides Parish jail, Alexandria Police Department Cpl. Wade Bourgeois told NBC News.

“She flat-lined but they were able to get a pulse before they took her to the hospital,” Bourgeois said.

Anderson was arrested Tuesday and charged with second-degree murder in the death of her daughter, Audrey Lynn Chelette. Police said she brought the girl to the hospital on July 17, saying the girl had suffered a neck injury in a car accident, but doctors determined the child was already dead.

An autopsy confirmed Audrey died of a neck injury, according to police, but the injury “did not seem consistent with what would occur during a crash.” Kendra Foster, Audrey’s grandmother, told NBC News that the child had a 4-inch slit on her throat, but “not a mark” on the rest of her body.

Evidence also showed the scene where Anderson said the accident happened was not that of a car crash, according to police.

Anderson is being held on $500,000 bail, according to jail records. Her lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Following Anderson’s arrest, Bourgeois said the department would be looking into the April death of Anderson’s son, and the 2016 death of the father of both children.

Anderson’s other child, Christopher Dawayne Chelette Jr., died at the age of 4 in April, according to another obituary from Gallagher Funeral Home. Bourgeois said that officers responded to a call about a child with a bottle cap stuck in his throat before the boy died at Rapides Regional Hospital.

Audrey and the boy’s father, Christopher Dawayne Chelette, died at the age of 20 in 2016, according to an obituary from the Gallagher Funeral Home in Ball. Foster, his mother, said investigators told her he had hanged himself.

Anderson “was present with all three of them in their death,” Foster said.

She said family members had repeatedly called the Louisiana Department of Children & Family Services, fearing that Anderson wasn’t in the mental state to properly care for them.

A Louisiana Department of Children & Family Services spokeswoman said the agency “cannot comment on or acknowledge the existence of a possible abuse or neglect investigation involving a child” due to state confidentiality restrictions.

But according to a 2017 Pineville Police Department report, Anderson tried to give her children to two strangers on the side of the road. When officers arrived, the pair told them Anderson “seemed unstable and they were concerned for her children’s welfare,” the police report said.

She told officers that “she had been going through a lot of hardships in her life” and “began talking about religion and a new beginning,” the report said.

The people Anderson tried to give the children to told police that she said “she wanted to kill herself” and “give her children in the lake or river.”

Anderson was hospitalized and underwent a psychological evaluation, Pineville Police Deputy Chief Darrell Basco told NBC News. A family member took temporary custody of the kids.

She had previously been arrested 2014 on a “disturbing the peace” citation after a “small disturbance” between her and Chelette Sr. in a Walmart, Basco said. She was subsequently arrested for failing to pay a fine related to that incident.

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