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Girl Dies After Being Forced To Drink Soda
A couple has been charged with the murder of a five-year-old girl after she was forced to drink more than two litres of grape soda and water as a punishment.
Alexa Linboom was taken to hospital on January 1 2012 by her father, Randall Vaughn and his wife, Mary - her stepmother - after the child turned blue, according to the Hawkins County Sheriff's Office in Tennessee.
The girl was found to have severe brain damage as a result of the massive intake of fluid. It caused her brain to swell which subsequently led to her death.
After a two-year investigation, the authorities ruled that the girl's death was murder and the couple have been charged.
District attorney Berkeley Bell said: "Our position is it was a matter of several hours after the child started exhibiting serious symptoms, after the child was screaming out in pain, went into a paralysed state and became unconscious.
"Allegedly the child, as a form of punishment, was forced to drink grape drinks, as well as a great deal of water, to the point that her body became water intoxicated.
"That led to her brain swelling and all of her systems shutting down, and to her eventual brain death.
"The punishment was allegedly for stealing a grape drink. I don't know exactly how much liquid she drank, but there was 4.5 12 ounce drinks plus water in-between."
A total of six children were living in the household at the time of Alexa's death.
The other five are now in foster care.
The natural mother of the girl reportedly lives in another state.
Randall Vaughn, 41, and his 58-year-old wife are being held in jail, pending bail.
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