Forks woman arrested in death of toddler

FORKS — A 44-year-old Forks woman is under investigation in the death of a 2-year-old boy.

Ramona Jean Ward allegedly caused a traumatic brain injury to a toddler who was in her care, the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office said.

The boy died at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle this morning, Chief Criminal Deputy Brian King said.

“There is no strong motive, other than indifference to the baby’s life,” King said.

King said he would not release the name of the child because of his age.

Ward, who was arrested Thursday in Forks, is expected to make her first appearance in Clallam County Superior Court at 1 p.m. Monday.

Ward phoned 9-1-1 from her residence on the 1700 block of Calawah Way to report that the boy was unresponsive at about 1:57 p.m. Wednesday, investigators said.

The toddler was rushed to Forks Community Hospital, where medical staff identified injuries consistent with abuse and neglect before he was airlifted to Harborview, King said.

Clallam County sheriff’s detectives, Port Angeles and Sequim police detectives and a State Patrol crime lab team were investigating.

“We’re still busy working this thing,” King said in a Friday interview.

“It’s a nightmare.”

Ward was booked into the Clallam County jail for investigation of first-degree assault of a child. The recommended charge was changed to second-degree murder after the baby died.

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at rollikainen@peninsuladailynews.com.

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