Girl Who Died After Ingesting Chili Powder Identified

The father's girlfriend was booked into custody on child abuse charges in the Apple Valley case

By Jason Kandel
|  Tuesday, Jan 8, 2013  |  Updated 6:20 PM PDT
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Father's Girlfriend Held in Girl's Chili Powder Death

Toys and a stroller sit outside a home in Apple Valley where a 2-year-old girl, Joileen Garcia, suffered a fatal seizure after ingesting chili powder.

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Father's Girlfriend Held in Girl's Chili Powder Death

A 2-year-old girl suffered a fatal seizure after ingesting chili powder and the girl's father's girlfriend was arrested in connection with the death, police said on Monday. Gordon Tokumatsu reports from Apple Valley for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Jan. 7, 2013.
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The 2-year-old girl who suffered a fatal seizure after ingesting chili powder was identified on Tuesday as Joileen Garcia, the San Bernardino County Coroner's Office said on Tuesday.

An autopsy to determine how she died was pending.

Authorities were called out on a report of a girl suffering from a seizure after ingesting chili powder at a home in the 20000 block of Cayuga Road in Apple Valley on Sunday. She later died at a hospital.

Joileen’s father’s girlfriend, Amanda Dawn Sorensen, of Apple Valley, 21, was booked on charge of assaulting a child and causing death into the San Bernardino County Jail, online records show. Sorensen, pictured at right, is scheduled to make her first court appearance on Wednesday, officials said.

Neighbors were shocked to learn of her arrest.  

Michael Harrison told NBC4 he is convinced that whatever happened must have been an accident.

"Why would she purposely poison her kids like that?" Harrison said. "That don't make no sense. ... These kids were always happy, always playing."

Authorities were tight lipped about the case on Tuesday, refusing to talk about the circumstances.

Details about the whereabouts of the biological mother were unknown.

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