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Mom Blogger Arrested After Shaken Toddler Dies

Photograph by Twenty20

Self-proclaimed mom blogger, 26-year-old Brianna Valenti, was arrested after calling 911 to report that a little girl she was caring for had passed out and was experiencing trouble breathing at a Grand Island, New York, residence.

The child, 2-year-old Raelynn Rose Fuller, was rushed to the intensive care unit at Oishei Children’s Hospital on September 10. Tragically, she died nearly two weeks later, on September 22.

Capt. Greg Savage from the Erie County Sheriff's Department told WIVBTV 4 News that Valenti advised 911 operators that "she had an unresponsive baby suffering from a possible allergic reaction."

However, a subsequent investigation revealed that the toddler had sustained injuries that resulted in her being unresponsive.

According to a post on the Erie County Sheriff's Department Facebook page, detectives were sent to investigate after Child Protective Services (CPS) notified them that a 2-year-old girl who was in the intensive care unit was a suspected victim of child abuse.

The following day, September 11, Valenti was charged with a felony count of reckless assault of a child, a felony count of assault—conduct causing risk of death—and a misdemeanor count of endangering the welfare of a child.

The girl’s father, Cody Fuller, told WKBW 7 Eyewitness News that doctors believe his daughter had been shaken “almost to death” prior to being admitted. He also confirmed that Valenti was his girlfriend and that she had been caring for Raelynn, along with Valenti's 5-year-old daughter, when the incident took place.

In a statement addressed to “the media and those concerned," the unnamed owner of Weird, Wicked & Wild—the website where Valenti was listed as "head parenting blogger”—said she doesn't know where to begin.

"Right now, I am in shock, I am horrified, I feel sick and this is incredibly difficult for me to write," she wrote.

Though she admits she never knew Valenti in “real life,” the site owner said the two had been online friends for quite some time.

"I haven't spoken to Brianna in a very long time," she wrote. "The last time we spoke was probably when I let her know I would no longer be doing the blog."

She went to say that her heart was in pieces for everyone affected by the tragedy, stating, "I wish I could have done something, anything, and I am sure many who knew this family are thinking the same."

Valenti is currently being held at the Erie County Holding Center on $150,000 bail.

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