Coroner rules Cincinnati baby's death homicide

CINCINNATI (AP) — Authorities in southwest Ohio say a 15-month-old girl whose body was found at her mother's house died of asphyxiation due to smothering.

The Hamilton County coroner on Thursday ruled the death homicide.

Police found the girl at her mother's home after a relative requested that authorities check on the child.

The mother, 23-year-old Janishcia Cottingham, was charged with aggravated murder last week. Her attorney has said Cottingham has been placed on suicide watch. Attorney Daniel Burke Jr. did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.

The child's father, Robert Midell, has said both parents had sought help in caring for the girl through the county's Department of Job and Family Services.

A department spokeswoman has said the agency is identifying services the family agreed to participate in.

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