Sterling woman charged in toddler daughter’s killing

A Sterling woman was charged March 6 with murder in the death of her 20-month-old daughter in August 2005, authorities said.

The Loudoun County sheriff’s office said they arrested Vanesa Patricio-Cruz, 30, on March 5 after a seven-year investigation following the death of Jocelin Gutierrez.

Patricio-Cruz is being held without bond at the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center, authorities said.

The toddler’s family brought her to a fire and rescue station in South Riding, Va., that August. She was then taken to Fair Oaks Hospital in Fairfax, where she died. A follow-up investigation confirmed that she died of blunt force trauma.

The office of the Loudoun commonwealth’s attorney assisted the sheriff’s office in the investigation. No further information will be released because of the upcoming court proceedings.

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