Mom Who Admitted Dumping Body Charged with Murder

Prosecutors filed murder and other charges Monday against a woman suspected in the death of her 18-month-old daughter, whom she initially claimed was taken from her in a violent kidnapping.

Stacey Marie Barker, 24, was also charged with assault on a child causing death and child abuse, according to the district attorney's office. She was expected to be arraigned Monday in Lancaster.

Authorities said Barker initially lied to investigators about the circumstances of the child's death. She told sheriff's deputies that someone knocked her out as she was putting her daughter into a car seat in Lancaster on the evening of March 19 and that she awoke hours later in Palmdale, according to the sheriff's department.
Barker allegedly inflicted wounds to her head, partially undressed and faked semi-consciousness in an attempt to mislead deputies.

Under questioning, Barker later told deputies that her daughter, Emma Leigh, died in an unspecified accident and Barker panicked and dumped the body, deputies said.

Investigators recovered the toddler's body in a yard in the 13000 block of El Dorado Avenue in Sylmar.

Barker was arrested Thursday. Prosecutors recommended that bail be set at $1 million.

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