Billy Bob's Daughter Arrested in Babysitting-Related Death

Actor's estranged daughter is arrested and charged with child neglect after the death of a child under her care

By Megan Masters Jun 01, 2009 1:00 AMTags
Amanda Brumfield, Billy Bob ThorntonOcoee Police Department, Alan Davidson/Getty Images

Amanda Brumfield, the estranged daughter of Billy Bob Thornton, was arrested in Florida on Friday stemming from the death of a child under her care last year.

According to the police affidavit obtained by E! News, Brumfield, the 29-year-old daughter of Thornton and ex-wife Melissa Gatlin, was charged with child neglect after telling investigators in October 2008 that "the child had fallen and hit her head." Since then, police have revealed that Brumfield did not call for help for another two-and-a-half hours.

Thornton's publicist, Arnold Robinson, released a statement to E! News on behalf of the actor.

"Mr. Thornton is estranged from Amanda and has had no contact with her for quite some time, however when informed about this situation he commented that, 'Anytime a baby's life is lost is an unimaginable tragedy and my heart goes out to the baby's family and loved ones.'"

Investigators found inconsistencies in Brumfield's story. She claimed that the child, one-year-old Olivia Garcia, had fallen while straddling her playpen—which stood at just 28 inches—hitting her head and biting her tongue.

When police responded to the 911 call, they found Garcia "laying on the carpet of the living room." Brumfield claimed she had cleaned up Garcia's bleeding tongue and then proceeded to feed her snacks and play with her.

However, doctors officially reviewing the case determined last month that Brumfield's story was not consistent with Garcia's injuries and that a child who suffered from such an injury would not be playful, rather would be "crying consistently" before likely falling into a coma. They also found it highly unlikely that she would be able to eat bananas and fruit snacks as her tongue injury was "a deep cut."

Brumfield called 911 herself two-and-a-half hours after the injury after thinking "something didn't feel right" when she was unable to wake the toddler up from her sleep. The child was pronounced dead upon her arrival to the emergency room, with the cause of death listed as "skull fracture and subdural hematoma."

Per the affidavit, Garcia "did not fall asleep but instead succumbed to the head trauma received while in the care of Amanda Brumfield."

Brumfield said she thought the girl seemed "limp," but waited until her husband came home before contacting the authorities.

—Additional reporting by Whitney English


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