'All I know is that I went to work and I came back and my baby was dead'

Polk County toddler found dead

POLK COUNTY, Ga. -- A grieving family is calling for justice after a 21-month-old passed away over the weekend. 

Polk County Police have opened an investigation into the death of Ella Grayce Pointer.

The child was taken to a local hospital early Saturday morning and then airlifted to Egleston Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

MEET ELLA | Family remembers vibrant toddler

Shellby Garner, the child’s mother, said she was working the third shift when she got a call that her daughter had stopped breathing.

“She was gone for 30 minutes and they revived her. Her heartbeat was all hers,” Garner said. “But she was already gone. Her body was there, but she was already gone.”

Pointer passed away Sunday afternoon.

“All I know is I went to work and I came back and my baby was dead,” Garner said. “My baby was gone.”

Family members said that emergency workers made disturbing discoveries about the child.

“They worked on her, carried her to the hospital...continued to work on her and that's when they told us that she had sustained major brain injuries. Major organ injuries. Sexual abuse," said Joy Shell, the child’s grandmother.

Police haven't said what led to little Ella's death. They did say she was with two men at the time, including 27-year-old Dustin Putnal.

Putnal, who was Garner's boyfriend, was arrested for violating his probation. The other man's name hasn’t been released.

“For this tragedy to happen, I don't understand how anybody or anything,” Shell said. “I don't understand evil in the world that can do this. I just don't understand.”

The hashtag #JusticeforEllaGrayce is being heavily used by family and friends, pushing for police to make an arrest.

“She was the light of everybody's life,” Shell said. “Beautiful. Caring. Loving. Generous. I could go on for days and days. Justice will be served. Justice will be served. We will make sure of it.”

A vigil was held Monday night in the parking lot of the Cedartown Home Depot.

Photos | Family, friends hold vigil for Ella Gracye Pointer

The family is collecting donations to help with burial. They can be sent to the Lester Litsey Funeral Home.


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