Centerfield woman charged with child abuse homicide

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MANTI -- Prosecutors have filed child abuse homicide charges against the mother of a 2-year-old girl who died Thursday night. They reveal a terrible crime: a child who did not drown as her mother claimed to EMT's and doctors, but a young girl who died from being severely beaten.

As family and friends continue to mourn for 2-year-old Kirsten Anderson, Sanpete County prosecutors are building their case against the little girl's mother.

Twenty-three-year-old Ariel Hampton was arrested Friday and charged Monday with a first-degree felony child abuse homicide.

2-year-old Kirsten Anderson died Thursday night after police say her mother, Ariel Hampton, beat her.
2-year-old Kirsten Anderson died Thursday night after police say her mother, Ariel Hampton, beat her.

A report filed by Centerfield police shows that doctors at Gunnison Valley Hospital were immediately suspicious about the girl's injuries and didn't believe the mother's story that she found the girl face down in a wading pool.

"[There were] bruises, those type of things, all over her body," said Sanpete County Attorney Ross Black ham.

Hampton later talked to detectives, who described her as distraught over her daughter's death but said she told them she had beaten her daughter and when she finally realized her daughter was severely injured, she went for help.

The girl's father, who is separated from her mother, told KSL 5 News on Saturday that Hampton did have a temper, but he is shocked she could do something like this to their child.

"I can definitely tell you she had a point where she could snap, where she'd just lose control," James Anderson said.

On Monday, a judge agreed to increase Hampton's bail from $20,000 to $500,000. She will appear in court on the child abuse homicide charges later this week.


Story compiled with contributions from Sam Penrod and Randall Jeppesen.

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