Aunt charged with murder, child abuse in death of a Lansing 6-year-old

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LANSING, MI (WILX) -- An aunt has been charged with murder and child abuse in the death of a 6-year-old Lansing boy.

Christopher Pratt died 11 days before his seventh birthday.

He weighed 29 pounds, which is half of what a healthy boy his age should have weighed, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

He'd lost a "tremendous amount of weight" in the months leading up to his death, Ingham County Chief Prosecuting Attorney Mike Cheltenham said.

The boy died from a combination of blunt force trauma and neglect, a year after being placed in the custody of his aunt, 29-year-old Jessica Bice, Cheltenham said.

Bice is now facing murder and first-degree child abuse charges in connection with the boy's death.

Lansing Police were called just before 2 p.m. on Aug. 17 to his aunt's home after a report was made that he was not breathing, Lansing Public Information Director Robert Merritt said.

Emergency crews were not able to resuscitate the boy and the police began investigating his death, Merritt said.

Bice's next scheduled court date is a probable cause conference on Thursday, June 20.

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