State probes suspicious death of local girl

The state Department of Children and Families has joined police in investigating the death of a three-year-old city girl. The girl, whose name has not been released, died late Wednesday at Yale-New Haven Hospital. A preliminary report by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner found the girl died from a severe blow to the head. The report did not determine whether the death was a homicide or an accident, and Sunday a representative of the medical examiner said no progress had been made in the investigation. Police are expecting a more comprehensive report from the medical examiner, police spokeswoman Judith Mongillo said Friday. The Department of Children and Families had worked with the girl’s mother from March until November 2000, agency spokeswoman Joan Gurski said. “It was over a neglect issue. The matter was resolved and the case was closed,” Gurski said. No other children were in the home. Police believe the mother of the child was at work when the injuries occurred. Her boyfriend and his mother were tending to the child, according to police.

–Associated Press

Inmate sentenced for 1999 rape in sheriff’s van

The first of four inmates accused in a 1999 rape in a New Haven County sheriff’s van has been sentenced to 15 years in prison. David Bridges, 26, maintained his innocence at his sentencing Friday, though DNA evidence had linked him to the crime. Bridges and three other men were charged with kicking open a metal partition separating them from a female prisoner in a Sheriff’s Department van and raping her in August 1999. The attack happened as deputies transported the woman and 13 men to the lock-up at police headquarters in New Haven. The victim was jailed for failure to appear in court on minor drug and motor vehicle charges. At the time of the attack, bridges and one of his alleged accomplices were jailed for sexual


–Associated Press