Pictures of Sophialynn Taylor are all over her mother, Amanda Reese’s, Facebook page. But now, her little girl is gone.
Early Saturday morning, sheriff's deputies were called to an apartment on Erskine Creek Road in Lake Isabella, where they found 14-month-old Sophialynn unresponsive.
She was taken to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
"It is shocking, especially here. I haven't heard about a thing like this before," says Barbara Tucker, a Lake Isabella resident for fifty years. “It’s usually quiet, a small community where everybody knows everybody and everything that goes on usually.”
Deputies arrested Sophialynn's mother, 22-year-old Amanda Reese for child endangerment. Reese’s live-in boyfriend, 24-year-old Jared Ramirez, was arrested on charges of first degree murder and child abuse resulting in the death of a child.
“Amanda was apparently in Wofford Heights when this incident occurred,” says Tim Gerarden, a close friend of the family. “So we don't know what's going on. It's just a big mystery for all of us."
Community members laid roses and lit candles for Sophialynn. They held a vigil for her near her home in the Vons parking lot Saturday night.
Sophialynn's father, Kevin Salmon, says he believes his daughter's death was an accident.
He told 17 News, Ramirez put the toddler to bed Friday night and she hit her head on the metal bar of her bed. He says Sophialynn started throwing up, so the couple cleaned her up and put her to bed, and hours later, she wasn't breathing.
But, Reese’s mother told 17 News, her granddaughter's death was no accident. She said she has never heard of someone hitting their head and dying, so she believes Sophialynn was abused.
“We'd just like to see justice be done if there's any wrongdoing,” Gerarden says. "Nobody should hurt children, and the whole community is going to be upset about this one.”
Reese bailed out of jail. Ramirez is being held without bail at the downtown jail. Both are scheduled to be in court Tuesday.