VANCOUVER, WA (KPTV) - Police are investigating the death of a 5-year-old girl that took place in Vancouver Friday.
Officers said they responded around 5 p.m. to the Madison Park Apartments, located in the 12000 block of Northeast 28th Street.
When officers arrived, they found medical personnel transporting a 5-year-old girl named Hartley Anderson. Police said she was unconscious and had severe head trauma
Police said the girl was in the care of her mother’s boyfriend, identified as 37-year-old Ryan Burge.
According to police, Burge initially said the child injured herself while having a tantrum.
Police said Hartley was transported to a hospital. She was declared dead shortly after arriving for treatment.
The little girl's family was in shock from Friday's ordeal.
"You just get so sick, ya know, so many different emotions," said Whitney Luchau, Hartley's aunt.
But family members told FOX 12 they won’t be coming to any conclusions until they have all the facts of that night.
"We don’t know exactly what happened but if he did how dare him that is the absolute worst worst thing to a 5-year-old girl I mean that’s ugh," said TJ Luchau, Hartley's uncle.
Detectives from the Vancouver Police Major Crime Unit and Children’s Justice Center were contacted and later arrested Burge for second-degree murder.
Vancouver police are still investigating Hartley's death and family said her mom was too shaken to give them details.
So they said instead, they’re trying to focus on the positive memories.
Even in the heartbreak, the little girl still makes them smile.
“She was just like one of a kind. Just her personality was amazing, just a ball of fire,” TJ said.
FOX 12 found that Burge has a criminal history dating back to 1999.
He faced charges for domestic violence and harassment.
He was charged for arson but that was dismissed and he was convicted of malicious mischief in 2001.
A GoFundMe has been set up for Hartley and her family.
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