FREDERICK COUNTY, Md. -
Officials with the Frederick County Bureau of Investigation have arrested a Thurmont woman on charges related to the homicide of 2-year-old Robert Dean Watkins.
Investigators say Melissa Dawn Brittle, 36, of Apples Church Road, Thurmont, Md.,
was taken into custody on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013 on a warrant for first-degree accessory after child abuse and second-degree child abuse.
The investigation determined that Melissa Brittle had direct knowledge of the child abuse caused by fellow caretaker Raymond Brittle and failed to act and protect the child. Investigators say it was also revealed that Melissa played an active role in misleading members during the early stages of the investigation.
As we've reported on Sept. 5, 2013, the toddler, Robert Dean Watkins, was taken to Frederick Memorial Hospital by his guardian Melissa where she reported to hospital staff that Robert had fallen down about six steps and had an apparent head injury. Deputies say upon examination hospital personnel found additional injuries that were not consistent with falling down the stairs.
Robert was transported to Children's Hospital in Washington, D.C., where he later died from his injuries on Sept. 8, 2013. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Washington, D.C. ruled the cause of death as blunt force trauma and the manner of death as a homicide.
Melissa Brittle is currently being held at the Frederick County Adult Detention Center, along with Raymond Brittle on a $750,000 bond.