Person taken into custody in connection to 1-year-old’s death released without charges

CHICAGO — The person taken into custody in connection to the death of a 1-year-old in North Lawndale has been released without charges, according to police.

According to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office, 1-year-old Nicole Davis died of multiple injuries. Her death was ruled a homicide. Police said the person taken into custody was released without charges, pending further investigation.

“There’s just so much anger, pain going through my body right now. It just hurts,” Brian Davis, the girl’s father, said. “My baby died, and what’s the cause? That’s all I want to know.”

Davis sobbed outside the medical examiner’s office after identifying Nicole’s body.

“I come back to check on my daughter [and she’s dead],” he said. “She died on my birthday. It just hurts.”

Davis and the 1-year-old’s mother lived in a basement apartment in the 1900 block of South Harding Avenue until October when their lease wasn’t renewed. The couple was unable to care for Nicole and gave her to a woman who lived upstairs. Davis came to visit, he said, but other neighbors were his real eyes and ears.

Neighbor Marie Lee confronted Davis earlier this year and again Thursday about injuries she saw on the toddler.

“All I know is a month ago, she couldn’t raise her arm,” Lee said. “Her arm was hurt. Take that baby to the doctor. I’m in his face right now. They wouldn’t listen to me. It was like they were afraid if they take her, they’re gonna find something out.”

Davis said the woman caring for Nicole told him the girl fell off the bed. On Wednesday night, Chicago police were called to the home when the toddler was unresponsive. Police said she had been dead for several hours.

“Every time I look around, the baby had bruises,” Lee said. “She couldn’t even stand up and walk when she screamed. Did someone touch this baby or what?”

Now, neighbors blame themselves and say they wished they had made called police or DCFS a long time ago.

A Facebook fundraiser was started to help pay for the toddler’s funeral expenses.