Woman charged with neglect in death of 2-year-old daughter who fatally shot herself

PORTAGE, Ind. — An Indiana woman whose 2-year-old daughter gained possession of a gun and fatally shot herself last month has been charged with neglect of a dependent, according to court records.

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Abigail Rodriguez, 28, of Portage, was cited in the Feb. 7 death of her daughter, Grace, the Northwest Indiana Times reported.

According to Porter County online court records, Rodriguez told police that she was in her daughter’s bedroom with the child when Grace left the room. The girl wandered into her mother’s room and shot herself with a 9 mm handgun, according to a probable cause affidavit.

The affidavit stated that Rodriguez believed her daughter was walking toward the living room of their home until she heard a gunshot. Rodriguez rushed into her bedroom where Grace was wounded on the floor, the Times reported.

Police received a call at about 11 a.m. CDT, and the child was taken to a hospital in Chicago, the newspaper reported. She was pronounced dead at 6:10 p.m. CDT, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.

According to the probable cause affidavit, Rodriguez said she normally keeps the gun in the kitchen during the day and on a nightstand next to her bed in the evening, The Associated Press reported.

However, on Feb. 7, Rodriguez said she forgot to bring the weapon into the kitchen, according to the news organization.

According to the AP, a message seeking comment from Rodriguez’s attorney could not be left Wednesday because his voicemail box was full.

Rodriguez is scheduled for an initial hearing on Friday, online court records show.

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